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#170202 - 12/29/02 01:06 AM Re: Remember the Cedar
wolverine Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 439
Loc: Everett, WA
I too grew up fishing the Cedar for Steelhead. It was amazing that an urban run of fish could withstand the pressures placed upon it. The Cedar watershed is the primary source of water for the city of Seattle. The upper river has been closed to fishing for a lot of years to protect the water quality. Below the dams is where the troubles began. The city would shut off the water from the resorvoir to lower the water level in Lake Washington so that people could repair their boat docks. This would drain the river to a trickle. Of course if there were heavy rainfalls in the watershed they would then have to open the floodgates and the river would become a raging torrent. The fish remarkably survived that abuse. The fish also survived the "trout" fishery that occured. In reality most of these were steelhead smolts.
I remember "Hershal" and his gang below the locks that decimated several consecutive returning age groups of adult fish. I remember how people came from far and wide to watch these useless marine mammels catch steelhead and tear their bellies out, one after another after another. Top this with tribal netting and it was easy to see why the run collapsed.
It's wonderful to be good. But it's better if you're lucky and good!

#170203 - 12/29/02 01:24 AM Re: Remember the Cedar
SteelyDon Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 118
Loc: Auburn
I agree Herschel was a major reason for ruining the Wild Steelhead run and might have been the straw that broke the camels back. But I also agree with the other posts that at that time, keeping wild fish was as common as keeping hatchery fish today. I also knew people and talked to people that caught a lot of wild fish and kept everyone of them. One guy I talked to lived in the BINGO apartments told me he had 18 big wild fish in the freezer already and was planning on doubling that amount. If I heard that today, I'd give him a mouthful. He is in the same category as snaggers as far as I am concerned. It must be 10-15 years since the Cedar has closed and fortunately in that time, most people have changed there ways and release wild fish. C&R is the only way to go, and should be done on all rivers.

#170204 - 12/29/02 02:48 AM Re: Remember the Cedar
ak_floater Offline

Registered: 05/19/00
Posts: 77
Loc: Renton, WA
I would not say Herschel was the reason the native run declined. I will say it was the Herschel episode (lasting over a a couple of years) that put the spot light on the Cedar. Fisherman yelled that the Sea Lions were killing the Steelhead and ruining the Cedar River population. Remember we had nightly news coverage showing the slotter, it was even shown on national news. In came the environmentalist that said it was polution, forest removal, damming and of course habitat loss which was the real cause, not an innocent California Sea Lion. In either case, with all the news coverage, the Cedar was closed to ALL fishing.

As far as what is the cause to the Native Steelhead decline -- I don't know, I've seen no data to indicate how the river doing. As far as I know, their's fish stacking up right now in my old holes. Chance are, theirs at least a couple.

#170205 - 12/29/02 03:51 AM Re: Remember the Cedar
sinker Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/12/01
Posts: 440
Loc: Puyallup, WA
I talked with a fish counter one day on the Snoqualmie about re-opening the Cedar. He suggested or was already being talked about, a lottery type system where you had to be drawn to get a license to fish the river. This would limit the amount of pressure. It is such a small river that something had to be done to limit the amount of people.
This sounds like an enforcement nightmare. The way I see it is have it open to everyone or not at all.
The way it stands now, if a fish cop sees someone fishing he knows they're in the wrong. If it opens on a lottery system. They have to go down and check each and every person to see if they're supposed to be there. Which the ones that aren't will see them coming and slip away.

I feel the same way with C&R rivers as well. Do you know how many fish get stashed in the bushes on these? Fish cop drives by or walks by and see people fishing thinks nothing of it. Now if it were closed totally they'd be toast for being there. Not to mention the mortality rate on endangered fish, who's status made it catch and release.

#170206 - 12/29/02 06:23 PM Re: Remember the Cedar
SteelyDon Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 118
Loc: Auburn
I agree it would be hard to police. Your suggestion is not different than today, keep it closed or open it for everyone. A lottery is just an alternative to opening the river, vs not letting anyone fish it. I'd settle for a shorter season for everyone, just the month of March.That would allow some escapement and should be well after the salmon runs.

#170207 - 12/29/02 07:06 PM Re: Remember the Cedar
sinker Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/12/01
Posts: 440
Loc: Puyallup, WA
What's the matter with leaving a river alone? I think it would be beneficial to monitor a river such as this. We don't have to catch everything out there ya know.

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