Sunday, December 08, 2019

more on the closure of the Stillaguamish


Anyone wanting to attend the meeting and at a loss for what to say, take note that the printed fishing regulations go through June 30, 2020. There is no Stilly opening for the period Saturday before Memorial Day through June 30. WDFW is already set up to continue the 3 1/2 month summer closure of the Stilly for the next 100 years and telling you it's necessary for Chinook conservation if you're willing to believe it - even though it isn't. As WW says, you get the fishing you fight for. I'm planning to complain about the foregone Stilly closure even before the 2020 NOF results are out.



1. You say on the Department website that you value transparency. However, you meet in secret to make decisions that negatively affect recreational fishing by reducing opportunity. I want the Department to walk its talk and use CCTV to make those closed door meetings as transparent as you claim to value.


2. If you haven't already, immediately begin the process of developing a Department-specific alternative to joining the treaty tribes' BIA consultation with NMFS for ESA approval. Co-management only works when power is equally shared. The tribes have all the power under the current situation. Therefore, co-management is broken and a misnomer. The likely alternative is an ESA Section 10 Conservation Plan.

3. When constituents ask you for data, just share it with them in timely fashion. You work for us. Don't create the unnecessary expense of forcing the use of Public Disclosure Requests to see information that we already legally own. Don't force some of us to sue you, causing us to spend our money to fund both sides of lawsuits. This is counter-productive and antithetical to the concept of public service.

4. Keep the Skagit steelhead season open whether you secure supplemental budget funding or not. The Skagit fishery is more important than a multitude of other actions the Department funds that return little or no conservation or recreation, which should be your highest priorities.

5. Don't close the Stillaguamish River again for 3 1/2 months in 2020. (This is already in the regs booklet that goes through July 2020.) We both know that the Chinook conservation claim was a ruse, and that the real reason is because the tribes forced you. Stop using conservation as a reason for closing sport fishing when it isn't. You should know by now that we check up on these things. Push back. The tribes don't fund the Department, but sport fishers do, and we expect you to work for us and the fishery resource. We know that you know that it is possible to have a Stilly season for summer steelhead and sea run cutthroat with no significant adverse impact to Chinook, so do it.

That's it for now. What do we want that WDFW can deliver? And what's a catchy name or title for this OS v. 2.0?

message from a reader,

Your message is critical to inform WDFW Director Susewind and the Commissioners that their current path is unacceptable to recreational anglers.  Stillaguamish Chinook is not threatened by recreational fishing; they are threatened because the habitat in the basin is too degraded for the Chinook to sustain themselves by natural production.  And the Department knows it.  WDFW closed the Stilly to sport fishing for 3 1/2 months in 2019 and currently proposes it for 2020, at least through June 30.  The reason for the closure is not conservation.  It is because the Tribes insisted that any sport fishing would pose too much harm to the Chinook.  And because the Tribes have all the power at North of Falcon, WDFW must cave to every tribal demand in order to piggy-back on the tribal/BIA Section 7 ESA permit that NMFS reviews and approves. 

Co-management works only when both parties share equal power in negotiations.  The present permitting system removes balance, giving tribes all the power in the process.  I hope you will consider revising your message to demand that WDFW pursue getting its own ESA permit from NMFS to restore balance to co-manager negotiations.  If they don't, we can expect the Stillaguamish River to continue this closure for the next 100 years, or until Stilly Chinook go extinct because they will not recover within our lifetimes.

I plan to attend the WDFW Commission meeting in Bellingham on Dec. 13 & 14 to testify on this and related sportfishing matters.  I hope you and others interested in sportfishing the Stilly will also.

Sincerely,

Steve Fransen

Saturday, December 07, 2019

2019-11-28


2019-11-26



2019-11-18


the only difference is one is before and after, there goes the neighborhood, remember our great grandparents came here to tame the west and find a future.



your input is needed write to the WDFW NOW!!!!

To:  WDFW & North Falcon Process  
Date:  Dec. 1, 2019                                                                                                        
Subj:  Reopen North Fork Stillaguamish River - Summer Fly Fishing  Season 2020-2021

We, the license-buying sports fishing community of anglers on the North Fork Stillaguamish River (Region #4) who partake in "game fishing" herewith, (i.e.  summmer-run steelhead, native rainbow trout, sea-run cutthroat trout, and dolly varden char) want the stream reopened to its current summer and fall regulations:  Fly Fishing Only, Single Barbless Hook, Catch & Release except two hatchery steelhead retention.  Specifically, we feel that the river should at least be open from Memorial Day in May through the month of June to July 15th.  As well as the current fall season of Sept. 15 - Nov. 30th.  Additionally, we feel since the river has recently been closed in the month of June 2019 that there is now NO sports fishing catch & release opportunity for the famed Deer Creek native summer-run steelhead, which primarily run in the river during May and June during that time frame.
Justification:  According to the WDFW & North of Falcon the reasoning was due to a predicted three (3) hooking mortality rate on Chinook salmon.  Aside but related: there has not been a sports retention for any salmon in the North Fork for well over 7 decades.  Further, we feel since Chinook salmon as well as coho are not targeted by game fish fly fishers in the North Fork, and since that during the month of June to mid July there are very few if any Chinooks and coho in the North Fork these days, the predicted mortality rate is insignificant and does not warrant or justify closure of the sports game fly fishing catch & release season therein.
Sincerely,

Ken James McLeod, past pres. Steelhead Trout Club (5 terms), member Snohomish Sportsmen's Club, member Deer Creek Fly Anglers, property owners on North Fork Stillaguamish River since 1928

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Random photo's of the river surrounds, one brings wonder the other anger.


I post this photo because when I look at this  all I see is a very insensitive planner working on a project that is going to be a gold star in their portfolio, but hopefully, they will only be remembered for this 500-foot section, the only place along the and river when a passer-by can stop and look at the river and read a little history about the importance of the North Fork Stillaguamish River. 


Tuesday, October 08, 2019

great time to call your state legislators


Washington Residents: This Fall would be a great time to call your state legislators and ask them to fully fund the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) in the upcoming 2020 legislative session. Funding is critical for our Skagit steelhead season and for our state's natural heritage.
It is time for state lawmakers to step up and give WDFW the resources they require to conserve our natural heritage and restore outdoor opportunities. Give them a call and let them know you value these important programs!
https://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/


District 39 Legislators

Sen. Wagoner, Keith
Republican
Rep. Sutherland, Robert
Republican
Rep. Eslick, Carolyn
Republican