Monday, December 14, 2009

The Levee Broke

Looks like the last of the "healthy" wild steelhead runs in Washington State has failed to meet escapement.  A recent thread on the Piscatorial Pursuits bulletin board (Click here for Thread) puts last seasons wild winter steelhead numbers on the Quillayute at 4700 wild steelhead.  The escapement goal is 5900 fish.  Let's also not forget that the Quillayute is a huge river system which includes the Sol Duc, Bogachiel, Calawah, and Dicky rivers.  So that 5900 escapement figure is basically a joke to any one with a conservation bone in their body or who has any idea about the historical numbers these systems used to produce.
As sad as this news is, it might be a wakeup call for anglers and WDFW to change the management scheme (although pyramid or ponzi might better describe the current management scheme) so that in 10 years we cannot even imagine fishing over such low run sizes and that run sizes in 10 years are 3-5 times what they were last season.
If you have a chance send an e-mail to the WDFW Commission and let them know that under escapement is unacceptable and that strong harvest restrictions and hatchery reform is necessary to prevent this from happening again. 
WDFW Commission e-mail

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