Saturday, January 15, 2011

ODFW's Response

After getting over 300, at last count, responses to the wild steelhead situation on the Sandy river here is ODFW's response.
I will let you read it and draw your own conclusions before commenting at the end of this post.Please click on the link below to read the response from ODFW

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Memo - Sandy Basin Concerns 1-14-11

So what is Mr. McIntosh saying here? In my opinion not much. He fails to acknowledge that what ODFW is doing on the Sandy is a violation of Oregon's Native Fish Conservation Policy. This was pointed out to him and Ed Bowles, ODFW Fish Division Administrator, at the January 5th public meeting in Salem by Spence Miles.
In fact Bowles went so far as to say in another correspondence to a Native Fish Society River Steward that if conservation groups were to pursue a solution to this that  involved a lawsuit those group(s) bringing a suite would be "Marginalized"
Now isn't that interesting?  We have a state agency whose responsibility it is to protect and conserve those native steelhead acting like a spoiled child.
What Spencer has done is open a huge can of worms and brought Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to task for their huge failure in protecting an irreplaceable wild steelhead population. Those of us that call ourselves friends of wild fish can learn a hell of a lot from Spencer Miles about motivation to action when dealing with ODFW and concerning wild salmonids.


  1. I think the truth is worse than that: the Sandy "recovery" plan (subset of lower Columbia plan) most likely meets the criteria laid out in the Native Fish Policy. You have to read the entire policy to discover that it's so full of exceptions and loopholes it's practically toothless. This, along with the hatchery mess on the Nestucca, is an indication of the "balance" we can look forward to under the Native Fish Policy. Of course it shows a horrifying imbalance, weighted toward the majority of ODFW "customers" who demand harvest opportunity. The system is stacked against wild fish recovery, plain and simple.

    I also think that steelhead are the least of our worries on the Sandy. Spring chinook are the ones really screwed, since stray rates have gone trough the roof with the elimination of Marmot Dam. And how about wild coho? What a disaster.

    Regardig Bowles, however, I would ask you to consider the possibility that he was providing good advice to the NFS. If the NFS strikes out alone in a lawsuit, it can look forward to a cooling of relations with the agency, and difficulty in maintaining it's voice. A better solution would be for all concerned citizens and NGOs to combine forces under a separate organization, or under Friends of the Sandy. It would spread the risk and show that there is a coalition working toward wild-only management.

    I know you don't want to believe it, but Bowles is one of the good guys. Until you put yourself in his shoes, which would require an indepth understanding of the entire playing field, you will not be able to understand his perspective, the pressures he is under, and the basic requirements he faces in his position. He is not at liberty to do what's best for fish. It's not even an option for him. And that's not his fault. It's the fault of Oregonians. It's the fault of the majority of greedy idiots who call themselves anglers but are really just welfare-sucking addicts.

  2. Ed Bowles is just another part of the bureaucracy that is ODFW. I am quite sure he is indeed a good guy and has always been nice when I've talked to him.
    Bottom line though Rob, is when push comes to shove he is going to toe the company line and wild salmonids will suffer.

  3. he's pushed the "company line" toward wild-fish management more than any of his predecessors. spend some time in his shoes...

  4. Sorry Rob but I'm not buying it. Ed has a directive to do his job and he is not going to go out on a limb for wild me once where he has.
    ODFW is an agency out of control and Ed Bowles is a big part of that.
    You saw how non-committal he was in Salem