Saturday, January 26, 2008

Just Another Dead Wild Steelhead

The above photo appeared on the northwest's largest sports fishing internet forum and yes that is an intact adipose fin. It will no doubt spark some debate among some of the enlightened few that care that this steelhead was killed for this fisherman's glory shot but, unfortunately it will get far too many "atta boys"
Wonder if that dead wild steelhead tasted good? Certainly a wild steelhead must taste great or there would be no reason to kill them right?
Do you suppose this picture of this fellows grand achievement will reside in some drawer for years to come and that will be the only evidence this wild steelhead existed?
Some have said why even post these pictures of dead wild steelhead and the ignorant anglers who killed them?
I post them because I know there are some of you that read this blog who give a damn. I post these pictures to keep us motivated and focused on the ignorance that still prevails among the sports fishing community.
We cannot continue to allow these fish to be marginalized! They are a precious resource that must be protected and stood up for or they will be gone just like that! How many times have you heard that old and foolish statement that there are no "true" wild fish any more? That is the excuse that is used by the ignorant to justify the harvest of wild salmonids.
I will continue to post these egomaniacs pictures to show how far we still have to go in the ongoing battle for wild fish.


  1. fucking hell

    don't stop posting them but fucking hell

  2. As a foreigner, can I ask what the policy is on retaining fish where steelhead are concerned?

    Is the species so threatened that catch-and-release is always the preferred choice or is there no objection to keeping the occasional fish for the table (although perhaps not one of the size shown here!)?

  3. Native or wild steelhead are endangered on the west coast all the large majority of rivers are catch and release only. There are some exceptions in southern Oregon where limited retention is allowed and that is a source of much debate.

  4. "Keeper" fish are in almost all cases hatchery produced for just that reason. Exceptions are as mentioned, a few rivers allow killing of wild producing fish -- which I think at this point is absolute insanity.

    Many streams and rivers have a mixed run, with some hatchery and some native. Another big debate is how detrimental this is to the native fish -- data looks like the affect of mixing is significantly detrimental. Some say the jury is still out on this issue, but I say it's not a matter of whether the hatchery fish are harmful, it's just a matter of how harmful.

    On streams that have lost native runs, I still support hatchery runs so folks have fish for the table. I know it's not ideal, but to my eyes there has to be a give and take.

  5. It actually surprises me that harvest of wild Steelhead is allowed in the Pacific Northwest, as runs have thinned considerably over the years due to habitat degradation, commercial fishing, climate and harvest of maiden and repeat spawners by rube anglers.

    Thankfully, we have some C&R sections on some of our Great Lakes tributaries, and a slot size is in effect on the North Shore of Lake Superior. As a freelance photojournalist, I enjoy taking photos of fish, not typically when they are being released, etc