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#1010549 - 06/17/19 07:38 AM Three Minute Steelhead Challenge
_WW_ Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 01/30/13
Posts: 211
Loc: Skagit
Three Minute Challenge.
Here's a challenge. A challenge to any and all that like to fly fish for steelhead. At this time it is specifically in support of the Skagit C&R fishery but ultimately in this day and age of ESA listings and conservation group lawsuits, it will encompass all steelhead fishing in the state.

I'll lay out the challenge directly, first I want to explain the need for it. As you know Curt and I recently attended a Commissioners meeting again. And once again we tried to get across to them that this fishery is widely supported and loved by anglers from around the state and to a lessor extent other parts of the country. If you are a fly fishing steelheader, the Skagit is on your bucket list. This, and the science to support the fishery, is all content that they've heard from us over and over for about seven years and counting. If you have watched the meeting, available at this link:
https://player.invintus.com/?clientID=2836755451&eventID=2019061004
you might have noticed there was a little bit of contention between us and them. And any of you familiar with proceedings like this know that before and after meetings there is some discussion that takes place. This is one of the reasons we go on Saturdays Their entire meeting is short lived and it's easier to hang around and have some of these discussions.

But Curt, myself, and a few others have taken this as far as we can. The Commissioners see the same few faces every time. They know how Curt feels. They know how Salmo feels. They know how I feel.

Their biggest question to us during and after the meeting was simple;
Where are you guys? Where are you guys when the department is trying to secure funding for your fishery from the legislature? Are your representatives even aware of this fishery? Are your representatives aware that this is something very important to you? Are your representatives aware that this is how fishing of this type is going to have to proceed in the 21st century?

If you care about flyfishing for steelhead in WA now and in the future, you need to do something now. And I think you can do something that will have an impact in three minutes. Less time than it takes to tie a fly. Less time than it takes to brew a pot of coffee. Less time than it takes to buy a coffee. Less time than it takes to post on the forum bitching about WDFW, each other, or the weather. And certainly less time than to drive out of state to fish somewhere else.

So here is the three minute challenge:
Send an email to your representatives with a CC to the Commissioners and the Director of WDFW.
Find your representatives here:
http://leg.wa.gov/LIC/pages/hotline.aspx
Find their emails here:
https://app.leg.wa.gov/MemberEmail/Default.aspx
CC to the Commissioners:
commission@dfw.wa.gov
CC to the Director:
director@dfw.wa.gov

Tell them all that you are a fly fisherman and you saw the video linked to above and this is important to you. Tell them that this is their chance to build a fishing legacy to give their children, and your children, to fish for steelhead in the future. Tell them to support funding for this fishery and others to come either by WDFW budget means or authorizing the department to charge user fees so that we can pay for it ourselves.

Find others like yourself in your address book and send them a copy of your email and urge them to do the same.

It is, quite literally, time to put up or shut up.
_________________________
Catch & Release Is Not A Crime

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#1010550 - 06/17/19 07:40 AM Re: Three Minute Steelhead Challenge [Re: _WW_]
_WW_ Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 01/30/13
Posts: 211
Loc: Skagit
Here is the email I sent to my reps - my senator is on the ways and means committee!

Honorable Representatives,

On Saturday the 15th, I attended and gave testimony at the WDFW Commissioners meeting. You can view this meeting here: https://player.invintus.com/?clientID=2836755451&eventID=2019061004
I attended in response to a reported internal email from Director Susewind to his WDFW colleagues with the subject heading of; 2019 - 21 Operating Budget Update. In this email was a paragraph which I will quote here from the copy that I reviewed:

None of the other proposed enhancements are funded. For example, the current Skagit catch and release fishery will not receive funding and thus that opportunity will be eliminated.

Eliminated. Not might be, or possibly, or under consideration, but that opportunity will be eliminated. This fishery that has been in existence since 1981 was closed due to an ESA listing that encompassed all rivers that emptied into Puget Sound due to poor returns of steelhead. Except the Skagit, due in large part that its headwaters are behind conservation borders, was not experiencing the same fate as these other rivers. As a member of a group known as Occupy Skagit we lobbied WDFW for six years with their own science to develop a basin specific management plan to allow a fishery that NMFS would approve.

WDFW did their part and developed the plan, NMFS did their part and approved the plan. The wild fish, which I might add come at a cost of zero dollars to the state, came back as always and we had a very well regulated season in 2019 from February 1 to April 30th. Now it is time for you to do your part and develop a plan to permanently fund this fishery and limited fisheries like it to come in the future. In this time of ESA listings, declining runs, and an ever increasing human population fisheries like the recent catch and release season on the Skagit will have to become the new norm. Business as usual has brought us to this defining point. Someone needs to step up and make a legacy decision for recreational anglers of the future.

Because of the required monitoring included in the plan some interesting data was collected. For instance, anglers from 214 different WA zip codes representing 21 different counties were interviewed. A review of the raw data also found that one out 11 anglers (9.4%) lived outside Washington state. Of those anglers 88.4% were from US states other than Washington. Anglers came from Canada and the UK. In years past the Skagit C&R season was populated with a Who's Who of the fishing world. Today, if you fish for steelhead, a Skagit steelhead is on your bucket list. The Skagit fishery, once the flagship fishery of the state, will die. Not for a lack of fish, but for a lack of dollars.

WDFW has determined that each angler's trip is worth $215 to the economy. Much of that spent near the destination. Going on the data from this spring of 7,241 angler days, this comes to $1,556,815.00. Over one and a half million dollars return for a monitoring and enforcement investment of approximately $200,000. Do you know anyone in District 39 that wouldn't like that kind of return on their tax dollars?

Recreational angling is a bi-partisan sport. It's time to drop the politics, come together and move recreational angling into the 21st century.

If, at any time you would like to meet over coffee or lunch to discuss this any further, I will gladly make myself available.

Thank you for your time,


Wayne Cline
Occupy Skagit
_________________________
Catch & Release Is Not A Crime

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#1010553 - 06/17/19 08:56 AM Re: Three Minute Steelhead Challenge [Re: _WW_]
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 12551
I'd just add that while I see lots of fly fishermen on the Skagit, the season is far from exclusive. I see lots of plug pulling and pink worm dunkin' by the likes of Todd the Mod and his ilk. The Skagit needs the help of all anglers interested in steelhead fishing opportunity going forward. The facts are that while WDFW is broken and the Director and Commissioners make decisions that are adverse to recreational angling, the Skagit and other recreational angling opportunities are on the chopping block unless the Department gets some direct Legislative push to prioritize recreation.

We get the fishing we fight for.

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#1010554 - 06/17/19 09:20 AM Re: Three Minute Steelhead Challenge [Re: _WW_]
wsu Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 401
A better question is why the expect sportfishers to push for fee increases while the commission tries to take management back to the 1980s so a handful of Gillnetters can make a buck? Why slap us in the face and then be angry we got upset?

I dont mean to take away from what you are doing. I fully support it. It just shocks me how divorced from reality wdfw is.

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#1010555 - 06/17/19 09:39 AM Re: Three Minute Steelhead Challenge [Re: _WW_]
Beezer Offline
Spawner

Registered: 06/09/99
Posts: 855
Loc: Monroe WA
Message sent from a gear head......


Thanks (again) Wayne, Steve and Curt!

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#1010559 - 06/17/19 11:24 AM Re: Three Minute Steelhead Challenge [Re: _WW_]
blenny Offline
Fry

Registered: 12/19/18
Posts: 24
sent an email to all three of my representatives. fished the sauk a couple of times this year as a young steelheader. absolutely beautiful river and sad that I only get to taste it for a couple of trips. how can we expect people to be stewards of the environment if we bar them from access and interaction with it?

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#1010560 - 06/17/19 11:28 AM Re: Three Minute Steelhead Challenge [Re: _WW_]
Bay wolf Offline
Spawner

Registered: 10/26/12
Posts: 928
Loc: Graham, WA
DONE!

Thanks for all the hard work and persistence. Sadly, it is exactly this kind of "in your face" tenacity it takes these days to protect our sport.

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#1010579 - 06/17/19 04:39 PM Re: Three Minute Steelhead Challenge [Re: _WW_]
_WW_ Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 01/30/13
Posts: 211
Loc: Skagit
One of my representatives has responded and we will be sitting down for coffee.

Now, when they are out of session, is the time to meet with them. Their schedule is more open and things are a little more relaxed. If you can, meet them and develop some rapport so as we get closer to the next session you won't just be some crazed guy with a collection of fishing poles when you contact them again.
_________________________
Catch & Release Is Not A Crime

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#1010597 - 06/18/19 08:53 AM Re: Three Minute Steelhead Challenge [Re: _WW_]
blenny Offline
Fry

Registered: 12/19/18
Posts: 24
Dear Mr. Blenny



Thanks for your message and for raising this concern. The legislature adjourned for the year on April 28 and will not be back in session until January 2020, so there is likely nothing that we can do in the short term to change this decision, which it sounds like may have been made in the most recent budget. I have forwarded your message to my colleague Senator Kevin van de Wege, who chairs the Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources, and Parks Committee, to see whether he can shed any light on the situation.



Best wishes, Jamie

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#1010626 - 06/19/19 05:48 AM Re: Three Minute Steelhead Challenge [Re: _WW_]
_WW_ Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 01/30/13
Posts: 211
Loc: Skagit
Thank them for their time and mention that the next session is when we'll need their help on this. WDFW will be there seeking additional funding. The legislature can provide that and direct where this funding goes.
_________________________
Catch & Release Is Not A Crime

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#1010739 - 06/20/19 03:35 PM Re: Three Minute Steelhead Challenge [Re: _WW_]
blenny Offline
Fry

Registered: 12/19/18
Posts: 24
Originally Posted By: _WW_
Thank them for their time and mention that the next session is when we'll need their help on this. WDFW will be there seeking additional funding. The legislature can provide that and direct where this funding goes.


Dear Mr. *****



Im now told that the Department of Fish & Wildlife has reversed course and will NOT be eliminating funding for the Skagit C&R fishery this year. They have decided to keep it open and seek additional funding from the legislature in the supplemental budget next year. Ill try to keep an eye on this to make sure that they get the funding, but encourage you to do the same.




Best wishes, Jamie





Senator Jamie Pedersen

43rd Legislative District

jamie.pedersen@leg.wa.gov

pronouns: he, him, his

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#1010746 - 06/20/19 05:17 PM Re: Three Minute Steelhead Challenge [Re: _WW_]
RUNnGUN Offline
Spawner

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 922
I'm a little confused? I was advised on this board to contact my reps to "NOT" support passage of the funding bill in the Legislature for the WDFW. I did so and it failed. What is my rep suppose to think when I now reverse? I'm all for supporting the Skagit fishery, but make up your minds on what approach to take. If the WDFW holds specific fisheries hostage then I propose to contact Legislators to clean house or propose bills in favor of our groups endeavors. If they need educating, educate them. Show your face there. I appreciate all your efforts to attend meetings, and wish I could, but why beat a dead horse? WDFW doesn't listen or care anyway. Their has to be another more effective approach.
_________________________
"After fishing for Steelhead for over 40 years, Steelheading as I know it is gone in Puget Sound!"
ME

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#1010749 - 06/20/19 05:38 PM Re: Three Minute Steelhead Challenge [Re: RUNnGUN]
_WW_ Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 01/30/13
Posts: 211
Loc: Skagit
Originally Posted By: RUNnGUN
I'm a little confused? I was advised on this board to contact my reps to "NOT" support passage of the funding bill in the Legislature for the WDFW.


That wasn't my advice.
_________________________
Catch & Release Is Not A Crime

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#1010757 - 06/20/19 08:36 PM Re: Three Minute Steelhead Challenge [Re: _WW_]
Moravec Offline


Registered: 03/27/08
Posts: 1041
Loc: Snoqualmie WA/Cordova AK
I would imagine that most state legislators have so many fires that they need to put out that fisheries are not on their radar, even in smaller communities that depend on the extra revenue from sport fishing. Overall economic growth, housing, education, transportation, environmental issues, drug problems and more. It is super important for us to educate them and make visible that their constituents actually find this a priority.
_________________________
God Bless America!
riptidefish.com

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#1010932 - 06/24/19 07:39 AM Re: Three Minute Steelhead Challenge [Re: _WW_]
Beezer Offline
Spawner

Registered: 06/09/99
Posts: 855
Loc: Monroe WA
Here's the reply I got:

Gary,

Good morning and thank you for your email. I did reach out to WDFW and wanted to be sure to share with you that they said they have heard the concerns about not funding this vital program and that they understand the importance of the Skagit Catch and Release Fishery. As a result, theyve decided to change course on the original proposal to balance the budget. They are planning to fund the Skagit Catch and Release Fishery in the first fiscal year, but seek a supplemental request to restore their expenses in FY1 and to fund it in FY2. If the Department does not receive funding for this work in the 2020 supplemental, or funding for our other at-risk activities, then unfortunately, they will have to reduce or eliminate a number of services.

Kind regards,


Senator Keith Wagoner
39th Legislative District
CDR USN (ret)
USNA '84

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#1010962 - 06/25/19 05:28 AM Re: Three Minute Steelhead Challenge [Re: _WW_]
_WW_ Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 01/30/13
Posts: 211
Loc: Skagit
Beezer, That is the exact same email I got from him.

My response:
Senator Wagoner,

This quote from your reply:

If the Department does not receive funding for this work in the 2020 supplemental, or funding for our other at-risk activities, then unfortunately, they will have to reduce or eliminate a number of services.

Is the very reason I and others have contacted our representatives and senators. To be frank, it appears to be business as usual instead of forward thinking to provide opportunity in the changing landscape of recreational fishing. It was outside the box thinking that enabled us to show WDFW the path forward to develop a plan to conduct this fishery. It may require similar thinking to fund it, including authorizing the department to charge daily or seasonal user fees for this flagship steelhead fishing opportunity. Again, what we do now will affect the future of not only this fishery but others to follow. The legislative mandate for WDFW is, in part, to provide sustainable recreational angling. This fishery meets the very definition of sustainable recreational angling and provides a template for moving forward.

We need our representatives and lawmakers to get behind this and support the funding needed for the Steehead Jewel of the Pacific Northwest.


His response to that:
Wayne,

Please know, I am working on it. No guarantees because it will require the support of both the House and the Senate but I know and understand the importance of this program.

Keith
_________________________
Catch & Release Is Not A Crime

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#1010964 - 06/25/19 06:55 AM Re: Three Minute Steelhead Challenge [Re: _WW_]
Smalma Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/25/01
Posts: 2758
Loc: Marysville
Wayne-
An excellent response - this exactly the kind of dialogue we need with legislators to underline the importance of the this fishery and willingness to work with them and agency to find solutions to continue this and other fisheries moving forward.

Continuing discussions, reminder emails before the next sessions and additional emails during the session will be key to emphasis importance and staying power of our concern/interest.

Later this morning I have a face to face with Senator McCoy.


Curt

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