Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Is ODFW the Enemy of Wild Fish?...You Tell Me

Am I asking a rhetorical question here? Maybe! Let's take a look at Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's record concerning Oregon's wild salmonids. I'll summarize the evidence on a few key issues and you good folks decide.

Steelhead Broodstock Programs

I've written about this before so briefly it all boils down to the following. The taking of wild steelhead eggs and making them into a harvestable hatchery commodity. With depressed populations of wild winter steelhead does this sound like a good idea?

Coastal Cutthroat Trout Harvest

Again lots of info on this blog about what took place last fall. With an 8" minimum and an uneducated Portland Metro public descending on coastal streams what do you think the impact on juvenile wild salmon and steelhead will be?

North Umpqua Wild Steelhead

After doing the right thing and ending the harvest of wild winter steelhead on this legendary river ODFW regional biologists did not even wait a year before (7 months to be exact) before recommending the repeal of the no harvest rule.

North Coast Chum Salmon Fishery

There are two rivers in Oregon that have a population of more than just a few of these salmon. Their numbers have steadily declined to an alarming point but these endangered fish, which were once too numerous to count, are harassed and abused by idiotic "anglers" with a C&R season that also allows the use of bait.

Salmonberry River Steelhead

ODFW fish biologists have stated that this run of wild winter steelhead is perhaps the most genetically pure and important strain of wild winter steelhead in the state!
To prove just how important these fish are ODFW not only allows a fishery on them but also allows the use of bait!

I've over simplified this evidence but if one cares to dig deeper you'll see all the facts there. The wild salmonid populations of this state are hurting big time folks and we have a Fish and Wildlife agency that is out of control. It's all about angler opportunities according to the agency spokesman.
Sorry but I wouldn't call these actions opportunities, I would call them an all out assault on wild salmon, steelhead and trout....you decide!


  1. Aldo Leopold described this best in A Sand County Almanac.

    It all boils down to what we think 'resource management' means. Is a resource to be used and managed/ A natural resource such as salmon, cutts, steelhead, become much the same as coal, water, timber, minerals, etc.

    When Leopold started in the Forest Service, he described the early service as pretty much concerned with cutting down trees, and managing the cutting down of trees.
    Deer were managed by shooting wolves. Less wolves and more deer = good.
    Then he began to think...
    Perhaps the Dept. of failure and waste should read this book?

    It all comes down to money.
    Fish are just another revenue generator for OR. That kind of thinking will see us eating soilent green in a very few years.

  2. It is not a problem just in your area. Up north we struggle with management that just doesn't seem to make sense to anyone but the government department doing the management.

    The result has been a disaster for commercial and sport fisheries alike.

    Keep slugging and don't give up the fight.