I would base my wish of releasing all native steelhead on the fact that it appears we have declining stocks, so why not be pro active and at the very least stop killing those that are left. For some reason that simple thought does not seem to be being recognized.
As I mentioned in my last post, as well as Bob has, the WDFW is allowing a catch and kill season in rivers that are not meeting escapement...am I wrong? If not, then how could that be argued as a responsible management position? and another ball of wax is who sets the escapement numbers, maybe they should be higher? Are they set at a level that meets the WDFW's current management policies or are they what they were 10 years ago, 20 years ago?
In terms of an economic issue. Why not ask Mike at Ted's how his business suffered when the Snohomish area rivers were closed to catch and release. He is still in business, but if other systems follow, and we dont have a season to fish in March, April, May anywhere... will he be in business for long? Most likely he would, but he would buy less, employ less...etc. the infamous trickle down theory... And of course there are many other tackle related business that will suffer. Thats an economic issue.
Cant it be seen that we seem to be on a very dangerous downward cycle? With more rivers having to be closed, after time, who is going to buy a license? At some point, maybe its far in the future, people are going to just say the heck with it. Would that be an economic issue?
You bring a lot of statistical data to the discussion, which is fine to a point, but all I see is less numbers of fish, and more restrictions having to be put in place. I dont see that as positive managment by our state officials.
I'm not going to pile on anymore, I appreciate your imput and it has added to my understanding of the issue. We all seem to want to fish, and lets hope things will get better.