Monday, March 31, 2014

Stay Out Of The Upper River Please!

This will be a yearly thing where I bring this post to the top. I feel it's just that important for the well being of wild steelhead. Those of you that already curtails your upriver fishing, I applaud you!
Those of you who insist on harassing fish on their redds then maybe you should pay attention. There are still fresh steelhead in the lower portions of the river so why not stay down there and leave the upriver areas alone....ya think?

This subject is something I strongly believe in and adhere to so since this is my blog you dear readers will just have to indulge me.
As most of you know I spend a lot of time fishing the rivers near Tillamook, Oregon. I fish for steelhead and coastal cutthroat trout on those rivers and know some of them very well. I know the fish and where they frequent, although you would never guess that by my angling success or lack thereof on the Wilson. This time of year I will stay out of the upper parts of those rivers because I know there are many wild steelhead using the upper rivers and tributaries to spawn.
How did I arrive at this decision? In 2001 I was fishing in the upper portion of a Tillamook area stream and hooked a very large wild female steelhead. I played her out and landed her carefully to avoid any harm coming to her when I saw that she was dropping her eggs. I had probably taken her right off a spawning bed and I felt disgusted with myself for even being in that section of the river.
I vowed from that day on to never fish the upper river in late spring until at least the end of May. I've tried to convince others to do likewise and have managed to convince some but others steadfastly refuse.
The ODFW (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) closes the nearby Miami river completely for that two month period and the upper Nestucca river is closed in order to limit access to spawning areas but why not the Wilson or the Trask?
I have seen too many pictures of grinning fishermen holding a wild buck steelhead out of the water for their hero shot while that male fish is dumping it's milt all over the fisherman's waders.
Some might say that why stop at the upper rivers why not close the whole river during that time? Wouldn't bother me in the least but some of those are big revenue rivers for both the ODFW and Tillamook county so with heavy lobbying from a few "good old boys" Tillamook area fishing groups they  stays open.
I urge everyone who reads my blog to consider what they can do to further the cause of wild fish in this state and any state. If we don't do it then who will!

The picture below gives you an idea of what to look for.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Three Rivers Sportsman's Alliance + Gill Netters = True Love

"Taking our commercial fisherman off the Columbia is and will continue to be the downfall of sport fishing" 

This quote is taken directly from the TRSA website and made by it's executive director Greg Osburn . What does it mean? It means TRSA is pro commercial gillnets. THEY ARE IN BED TOGETHER. This once again proves that things are not always as they seem. So you have to ask yourself this. Which group best serves your interest? Native fish Society or TRSA who supports non-selective, lower Columbia commercial gill nets?
Groups like "Salmon For All" make no pretense to what their agenda is. Neither does NSIA or Northwest Steelheaders, You might not agree with them but you know where they stand
Salmon for All is a group made up of Columbia River commercial gill netters and they have never tried to hide that fact.
Native Fish Society is a group dedicated to the preservation of native salmonid populations and they have never strayed from that and despite the lies out there about them,
All that aside I am not trying to sell you on any other group here. My support for NFS is well known.
So now we have the Three River Sportman's Alliance. They blasted onto the Northwest fishing scene as the alter-ego of NFS. They want to go as far as picketing the NFS banquet and are actively promoting that.  Thing is they support commercial gill nets in the lower Columbia River! Got that? They support the gill netting of the very same fish that they claim NFS is trying to take away from sports fishermen.
Not much is known about their board of directors and at first they would not even list who they were? What are they hiding? Whose money is propping this group up?
People thought that the CCA was going to get the nets off of the river and they didn't They made an effort to do so but came up short and ended up supporting Oregon Gov. Kitzhaber's plan.
ANWS and NSIA fell into line and the gill nets days are numbered. TRSA does not want the gill nets to leave the lower Columbia and they claim sports fishing needs gill netting in the Columbia in order to survive. You like hatchery fish? Well TRSA supports giving them to the gill netters.
The TRSA supports allocations for gill netters that takes away from sports fisherman!
So all of you that bought into their bait and switch and sent money to these people for anti-NFS stickers and have said you will participate in the picketing of the NFS annual banquet make sure who of the bad guy is here.
Sports fishermen cannot have it both ways. Who do they support? Seems to me they support the very group vilified by sports fishing groups over the years. Columbia river gill netters are hated by sports anglers more than any other group. Hated more than Native Fish Society. Hated more than sea lions even yet TRSA thinks they are necessary?
So when you are booted off the river this spring in favor of letting the gill netters take the spring Chinook you feel are yours take a moment to ponder who thinks that is just fine.