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Author Topic: WDFW issues permit for Cooke Aquaculture to bring in 1.8m eggs from Iceland  (Read 1011 times)

Offline pianoman9701

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WDFW issues permit to Cooke Aquaculture
to transport Atlantic salmon eggs from Iceland
OLYMPIA The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has authorized Cooke Aquaculture to transport 1.8 million Atlantic salmon eggs from its facility in Iceland to the company's land-based hatchery in Rochester, Wash.
WDFW issued the transfer permit late Tuesday, Oct. 10, after ensuring Cooke met all the fish health standards required under state law to import Atlantic salmon eggs.
Cooke operates net pens at eight locations in Puget Sound, including at Cypress Island, where one pen collapsed on Aug. 19 and released tens of thousands of Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound and nearby waters.
The incident at Cypress Island, near the San Juan Islands, remains under investigation. About half of the 305,000 fish from the collapsed pen are thought to have escaped.
After the net pen collapse in August, Gov. Jay Inslee directed that no permits be issued for new aquaculture net pens while the incident was being investigated. However, WDFW does not have the authority under current regulations to deny Cooke's request to import healthy Atlantic salmon eggs, which will mature at the hatchery into juvenile fish and eventually be used in net pen operations.
Cooke applied in mid-September for permission to move about 1.8 million Atlantic salmon eggs from its hatchery in Vogar, Iceland, to the company's Scatter Creek hatchery in Rochester. The move is expected to take place later this week.
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Offline fish vacuum

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However, WDFW does not have the authority under current regulations to deny Cooke's request to import healthy Atlantic salmon eggs
What good is a permit if the issuing agency can't deny it? Cooke must have some good friends in Olympia.


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Offline pianoman9701

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 :yeah: It's crazy.
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Offline j_h_nimrod

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However, WDFW does not have the authority under current regulations to deny Cooke's request to import healthy Atlantic salmon eggs
What good is a permit if the issuing agency can't deny it? Cooke must have some good friends in Olympia.


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That should say "However, WDFW does not have the authority under current regulations to deny Cooke's request to import healthy Atlantic salmon eggs without cause and support by more than fake news storyies". WDFW has the ability to deny transfers based on founded fish health concerns and sound scientific information.  At this point no one has made up the data that supports not importing these eggs.   


Offline pianoman9701

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What data? A full review of the company's aquaculture practices and pen integrity should be performed before further damage is done to our wild fish stocks.
"Restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens based on the actions of criminals and madmen will have no positive effect on the future acts of criminals and madmen. It will only serve to reduce individual rights and the very security of our republic." - Pianoman

Offline fish vacuum

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I'mhere sure there are policies they have to follow for the permits. If policy says X, Y, and Z conditions must be met to approve the eggs, then that's what they look at. Doesn't matter if something outside of those 3 things is messed up.

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Offline huntnphool

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 Can someone please explain what the problem is with this, and having those salmon in pens in our waters? :dunno:
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Offline Skillet

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Open water salmon farms are effectively ultra-concentrated feed lots.  Aside from the facts that they seriously depress the price I get for my wild Alaskan fish, the "dead zones" they create on the bottoms under the areas surrounding the pens, the growing demand for harvesting lower-on-the-food-chain fish to press into pellets to feed them (which has led to the over-harvesting of wild salmon's food supply), the chemicals and antibiotics they put in the feed to keep them alive, etc., etc -

 The real impact we should all be concerned about is the sea lice problem they cause for our wild fish.  These farms are breeding grounds for sea lice, and the outmigrating smolts pick up these lice as they pass by the farms on their way out to sea.  Normally there is no large concentration of lice threatening the smolts during their outmigration, but these farms keep a massive amount ready to pounce at all times.

An adult salmon can handle several dozen lice, no problem.  But to a 4" smolt, picking up just a few of them that early is effectively a death sentence.  I think of it as similar the tick problem with moose.

 :twocents:
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Offline j_h_nimrod

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What data? A full review of the company's aquaculture practices and pen integrity should be performed before further damage is done to our wild fish stocks.

Review is in progress. You are sounding like a liberal environmentalist, "we have no proof to the contrary, but we are going to make you stop until you prove we are wrong!"

Billions of Atlantics have been reared on this coast and many millions have escaped over the years. There has never been more than unfounded conjecture that they compete with or cause harm to any stocks on this coast and ,with a few isolated and short lived exceptions, have not been known to reproduce in the wild over here. Contrary to popular environmentalist propaganda, a few escapees are not going to create a viable self supporting population that will out compete native species and take over our waters.

Offline j_h_nimrod

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Open water salmon farms are effectively ultra-concentrated feed lots.  Aside from the facts that they seriously depress the price I get for my wild Alaskan fish, the "dead zones" they create on the bottoms under the areas surrounding the pens, the growing demand for harvesting lower-on-the-food-chain fish to press into pellets to feed them (which has led to the over-harvesting of wild salmon's food supply), the chemicals and antibiotics they put in the feed to keep them alive, etc., etc -

 The real impact we should all be concerned about is the sea lice problem they cause for our wild fish.  These farms are breeding grounds for sea lice, and the outmigrating smolts pick up these lice as they pass by the farms on their way out to sea.  Normally there is no large concentration of lice threatening the smolts during their outmigration, but these farms keep a massive amount ready to pounce at all times.

An adult salmon can handle several dozen lice, no problem.  But to a 4" smolt, picking up just a few of them that early is effectively a death sentence.  I think of it as similar the tick problem with moose.

 :twocents:

Sea lice are a problem that is endemic to wild fish and is transmitted to the penned fish. There have been a few isolated instances where penned salmon have been suspected of transmitting sea lice to emigrating smolts. How many farms are in SE AK or Alaska in general??  Answer is 0. How many of your troll caught adults in terminal harvest areas have lice?  Probably quite a few.

The "dead zones" are another non-issue for the most part. In the US there is extensive EPA testing to make sure these "zones" are not being created, Canada has much the same testing. There is a reason most adult pen complexes are in areas of high current and flow. The "dead zones" you refer to are possible, but would have as many ill effects for the penned fish as for the other denizens of the area. Not sure if you dive, but take a swim in the back of Katlian, Nakwasina, Readout, or Fish Bay to see what a "dead zone" is. There is nothing but sea cucumber, a few clam holes, anemones, or an occasional crab to be seen.

Of more concern is the sourcing of marine forage fish for the feed, that is a worldwide issue that only a small portion is for feeding penned salmon. Anchovies, herring, and similar fish have been heavily harvested for longer than pen aquaculture has been around and the worlds demand for marine based proteins and oils continues to grow with the increasing population, especially in Asian countries. Blaming salmon aquaculture for the continued depletion of forage fish populations is like saying because I cut down a tree in the forest, I am to blame for the worldwide deforestation.

Offline Thenewguy

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Open water salmon farms are effectively ultra-concentrated feed lots.  Aside from the facts that they seriously depress the price I get for my wild Alaskan fish, the "dead zones" they create on the bottoms under the areas surrounding the pens, the growing demand for harvesting lower-on-the-food-chain fish to press into pellets to feed them (which has led to the over-harvesting of wild salmon's food supply), the chemicals and antibiotics they put in the feed to keep them alive, etc., etc -

 The real impact we should all be concerned about is the sea lice problem they cause for our wild fish.  These farms are breeding grounds for sea lice, and the outmigrating smolts pick up these lice as they pass by the farms on their way out to sea.  Normally there is no large concentration of lice threatening the smolts during their outmigration, but these farms keep a massive amount ready to pounce at all times.

An adult salmon can handle several dozen lice, no problem.  But to a 4" smolt, picking up just a few of them that early is effectively a death sentence.  I think of it as similar the tick problem with moose.

 :twocents:

Sea lice are a problem that is endemic to wild fish and is transmitted to the penned fish. There have been a few isolated instances where penned salmon have been suspected of transmitting sea lice to emigrating smolts. How many farms are in SE AK or Alaska in general??  Answer is 0. How many of your troll caught adults in terminal harvest areas have lice?  Probably quite a few.

The "dead zones" are another non-issue for the most part. In the US there is extensive EPA testing to make sure these "zones" are not being created, Canada has much the same testing. There is a reason most adult pen complexes are in areas of high current and flow. The "dead zones" you refer to are possible, but would have as many ill effects for the penned fish as for the other denizens of the area. Not sure if you dive, but take a swim in the back of Katlian, Nakwasina, Readout, or Fish Bay to see what a "dead zone" is. There is nothing but sea cucumber, a few clam holes, anemones, or an occasional crab to be seen.

Of more concern is the sourcing of marine forage fish for the feed, that is a worldwide issue that only a small portion is for feeding penned salmon. Anchovies, herring, and similar fish have been heavily harvested for longer than pen aquaculture has been around and the worlds demand for marine based proteins and oils continues to grow with the increasing population, especially in Asian countries. Blaming salmon aquaculture for the continued depletion of forage fish populations is like saying because I cut down a tree in the forest, I am to blame for the worldwide deforestation.

What about the chemicals?

Offline j_h_nimrod

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I forgot to mention the chemicals in the food because there are very few, the food contains the same anti-oxidants, stabilizers, etc. that just about any human food in the super market contains or any pet food on the market. As for antibiotics, they are probably used no more in aquaculture than any other animal growing business. There are some anti fungal, anti parasitic, and other treatments out there but they are not used Willy Nilly. As with any food animal the chemicals used during their growth are regulated and controlled. I am not sure how it compares to poultry or beef production but I don't imagine it is any worse.

Offline Skillet

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Well nimrod, you clearly are concerned about this issue, and have an opinion that differs from mine.  I can respect that.  Before I spend time addressing your arguments, let me be clear that I am open about my motivations as a commercial troller... so what is your dog in this farmed fish fight?   :dunno:
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Offline huntnphool

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Open water salmon farms are effectively ultra-concentrated feed lots.  Aside from the facts that they seriously depress the price I get for my wild Alaskan fish, the "dead zones" they create on the bottoms under the areas surrounding the pens, the growing demand for harvesting lower-on-the-food-chain fish to press into pellets to feed them (which has led to the over-harvesting of wild salmon's food supply), the chemicals and antibiotics they put in the feed to keep them alive, etc., etc -

 The real impact we should all be concerned about is the sea lice problem they cause for our wild fish.  These farms are breeding grounds for sea lice, and the outmigrating smolts pick up these lice as they pass by the farms on their way out to sea.  Normally there is no large concentration of lice threatening the smolts during their outmigration, but these farms keep a massive amount ready to pounce at all times.

An adult salmon can handle several dozen lice, no problem.  But to a 4" smolt, picking up just a few of them that early is effectively a death sentence.  I think of it as similar the tick problem with moose.

 :twocents:

 Can you post up some links to back this info up?
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Offline Skillet

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Oh, I probably could when I get time to dig them up, but I'm pulling out of my slip here in a bit to start another winter king trip.  This is just info I'm passing on that I've learned from attending talks,  professional associaton meetings, etc.  Its my livelihood now, so I make it a point to pay attention when I have exposure to relevant info.

I think the major point that Pianoman was trying to make was that in the article WDFW is being presented only as a rubber-stamp to aquaculture.  It is odd that WDFW couldn't deny the permit to an aquaculture business to import live eggs from halfway around the world, yet have denied my ability to buy a bag of live leeches from Wisconsin to fish walleye with.
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Offline pianoman9701

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What data? A full review of the company's aquaculture practices and pen integrity should be performed before further damage is done to our wild fish stocks.

Review is in progress. You are sounding like a liberal environmentalist, "we have no proof to the contrary, but we are going to make you stop until you prove we are wrong!"

Billions of Atlantics have been reared on this coast and many millions have escaped over the years. There has never been more than unfounded conjecture that they compete with or cause harm to any stocks on this coast and ,with a few isolated and short lived exceptions, have not been known to reproduce in the wild over here. Contrary to popular environmentalist propaganda, a few escapees are not going to create a viable self supporting population that will out compete native species and take over our waters.

Do you label everyone with whom you disagree as a liberal? Seems a bit ignorant but fine. The very same fish led to the utter annihilation of the wild Atlantic salmon populations when Norway instituted fish farming. Sea lice, competition for feed/prey, introduction of non-indigenous foods and chemicals/hormones all led to the collapse of the wild Atlantic salmon population. The evidence is there and to me, it seems like too big a risk to take on areas that contain some of the last wild salmon populations in the world. The fact that they have known problems with pen integrity should at the very least indicate the necessity of a review before increased farming is allowed.
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Offline fish vacuum

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Look up "Salmon Confidential" on YouTube. It's an hour-long documentary about Atlantic salmon farming in BC.

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Offline j_h_nimrod

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Well nimrod, you clearly are concerned about this issue, and have an opinion that differs from mine.  I can respect that.  Before I spend time addressing your arguments, let me be clear that I am open about my motivations as a commercial troller... so what is your dog in this farmed fish fight?   :dunno:

Up until 5 years ago commercial fishermen paid my salary. I lived in Sitka for 16 years and worked for NSRAA and SSRAA during 14 of those years. I did some commercial fishing and worked closely with trollers and seiner. Coming from that background I am fundamentally opposed to fish farms, but, at the same time, I don't like to see maligned an honest profession and a company no worse than any other farm or ranch in the US.  My original concern stems back to the first post regarding the sensationalized news article full of bent truth, half-truth, and omissions then the people jumping on the band wagon crucifying Cooke and the inability of the state to deny a permit without due process. I am fairly well versed in permits and I hate them and the often nonsensical, convoluted, and ass backward means of obtaining them, but I would be pissed to jump through all the hoops only to have the permit pulled for an emotional response to an isolated incident. Think I594, an initiative voted in by an ill informed, emotional group of people with no idea what a poorly written and useless law they are passing.

Yes, it is all my opinion and contrary to many, but every time I hear what a disaster the escape was, how poor of a company Cooke is (they may be but one isolated incident does not support that and I have seen no other supporting reports to their poor quality), how Cooke singlehandedly is responsible for any future declines in "wild" stocks, how Atlantic salmon are going to take over all our rivers, etc. It is a subject I know something about and have a forum to disagree on.


Do you label everyone with whom you disagree as a liberal? Seems a bit ignorant but fine. The very same fish led to the utter annihilation of the wild Atlantic salmon populations when Norway instituted fish farming. Sea lice, competition for feed/prey, introduction of non-indigenous foods and chemicals/hormones all led to the collapse of the wild Atlantic salmon population. The evidence is there and to me, it seems like too big a risk to take on areas that contain some of the last wild salmon populations in the world. The fact that they have known problems with pen integrity should at the very least indicate the necessity of a review before increased farming is allowed.

I do not and know better than to label you a liberal, but you are sounding like a liberal environmentalist.  You are using emotional reasoning for some of your opinions and this is that is the way environmental movement does every time they show a wolf bitch licking and frolicking with her pups and then ask for money to save the wolves from______.

 Over fishing and habitat degradation are the main reasons Atlantics are all but extirpated in most of their historic range. Farming on a large scale with having many of the issues you purport wiped out the wild Atlantics came along well after the stocks were already in poor shape. Atlantics have had well over 100 years more time to be depleted and wiped out then our native salmon stocks, interaction with farmed salmon is relitively new and stocks were already in poor condition before farms ever became an issue.

With Cooke specifically, the state has performed reviews, engineering assessments, and tried any way currently in their arsenal including special EPA audits and testing to reject permits based on water quality. Granted it was a large escape, but this is not known problems, it is one problem.  They are not necessarily looking to increase production with the 1.8 million eggs, from what I have read the broken pen complex is only a small part of their total production.  These companies typically have very tight and professional operations ran like any other big business.  Companies like this are not in business to lose at least $500,000 in investment plus the cost in infrastructure damage. It is not an evil, insidious business trying to ruin all remaining salmon stocks in Puget Sound and surrounding areas by purposely (through poor maintenance) destroying their pens and releasing thousands of fish just before some of their investment would finally be recouped.

My  :twocents: take it or leave it, I will read and consider dissenting opinions and not automatically label a person a liberal, but don't bring emotional "facts" or fake news to try and sway me.  I will do my best to offer my argument and if I don't sway you then so be it.  We each have our own opinion and the more that are out there, the more diverse ideas we share.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 11:51:24 PM by j_h_nimrod »

Offline huntnphool

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Well nimrod, you clearly are concerned about this issue, and have an opinion that differs from mine.  I can respect that.  Before I spend time addressing your arguments, let me be clear that I am open about my motivations as a commercial troller... so what is your dog in this farmed fish fight?   :dunno:

Up until 5 years ago commercial fishermen paid my salary. I lived in Sitka for 16 years and worked for NSRAA and SSRAA during 14 of those years. I did some commercial fishing and worked closely with trollers and seiner. Coming from that background I am fundamentally opposed to fish farms, but, at the same time, I don't like to see maligned an honest profession and a company no worse than any other farm or ranch in the US.  My original concern stems back to the first post regarding the sensationalized news article full of bent truth, half-truth, and omissions then the people jumping on the band wagon crucifying Cooke and the inability of the state to deny a permit without due process. I am fairly well versed in permits and I hate them and the often nonsensical, convoluted, and ass backward means of obtaining them, but I would be pissed to jump through all the hoops only to have the permit pulled for an emotional response to an isolated incident. Think I594, an initiative voted in by an ill informed, emotional group of people with no idea what a poorly written and useless law they are passing.

Yes, it is all my opinion and contrary to many, but every time I hear what a disaster the escape was, how poor of a company Cooke is (they may be but one isolated incident does not support that and I have seen no other supporting reports to their poor quality), how Cooke singlehandedly is responsible for any future declines in "wild" stocks, how Atlantic salmon are going to take over all our rivers, etc. It is a subject I know something about and have a forum to disagree on.


Do you label everyone with whom you disagree as a liberal? Seems a bit ignorant but fine. The very same fish led to the utter annihilation of the wild Atlantic salmon populations when Norway instituted fish farming. Sea lice, competition for feed/prey, introduction of non-indigenous foods and chemicals/hormones all led to the collapse of the wild Atlantic salmon population. The evidence is there and to me, it seems like too big a risk to take on areas that contain some of the last wild salmon populations in the world. The fact that they have known problems with pen integrity should at the very least indicate the necessity of a review before increased farming is allowed.

I do not and know better than to label you a liberal, but you are sounding like a liberal environmentalist.  You are using emotional reasoning for some of your opinions and this is that is the way environmental movement does every time they show a wolf bitch licking and frolicking with her pups and then ask for money to save the wolves from______.

 Over fishing and habitat degradation are the main reasons Atlantics are all but extirpated in most of their historic range. Farming on a large scale with having many of the issues you purport wiped out the wild Atlantics came along well after the stocks were already in poor shape. Atlantics have had well over 100 years more time to be depleted and wiped out then our native salmon stocks, interaction with farmed salmon is relitively new and stocks were already in poor condition before farms ever became an issue.

With Cooke specifically, the state has performed reviews, engineering assessments, and tried any way currently in their arsenal including special EPA audits and testing to reject permits based on water quality. Granted it was a large escape, but this is not known problems, it is one problem.  They are not necessarily looking to increase production with the 1.8 million eggs, from what I have read the broken pen complex is only a small part of their total production.  These companies typically have very tight and professional operations ran like any other big business.  Companies like this are not in business to lose at least $500,000 in investment plus the cost in infrastructure damage. It is not an evil, insidious business trying to ruin all remaining salmon stocks in Puget Sound and surrounding areas by purposely (through poor maintenance) destroying their pens and releasing thousands of fish just before some of their investment would finally be recouped.

My  :twocents: take it or leave it, I will read and consider dissenting opinions and not automatically label a person a liberal, but don't bring emotional "facts" or fake news to try and sway me.  I will do my best to offer my argument and if I don't sway you then so be it.  We each have our own opinion and the more that are out there, the more diverse ideas we share.

 Good stuff, thanks for the info. :tup:
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Offline TheHunt

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I have been all over this topic and have been in touch with Inslee's staff.  Seems there was a loop hole in the contract and a lawyer found it.  So nothing can be done on this round.  BUT they are looking to close the loop hole.  The liberal's are most all environmentalist which they see the issues and are all supporting the wave regarding this.  So the fishing people see's issues and the liberals of this state see the issues so I see a possible closure pretty soon. 
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Offline Stein

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That being the case, the introduction of Atlantic salmon to the waters could actually do very little to influence wild native species.   

Famous last words, what could go wrong if we dump this non-native species here?

Offline huntnphool

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That being the case, the introduction of Atlantic salmon to the waters could actually do very little to influence wild native species.   

Famous last words, what could go wrong if we dump this non-native species here?

 So which is it?

 We have been told by WDFW that they can not spawn in our streams with each other or non Atlantics.......so what's the problem? :dunno:
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Offline JimmyHoffa

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farming non-natives is probably safer than any of the natives in the case of disease.  native stock just needs a disease, non native a disease and a mutation (for species specific diseases)

 

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WTS - .300 Weatherby Magnum Mark V by KMAC3
[Yesterday at 10:14:15 PM]


FS- Magpul PMAG SR25/LR-308 Ar-10 mags by freezerfull
[Yesterday at 10:13:23 PM]


Keegan Wilder fundraiser auction #16 .22 mag ammo from Ghost Hunter by jkthomps
[Yesterday at 10:13:22 PM]


FS- Magpul STR mil spec diameter stock black $50 by freezerfull
[Yesterday at 10:08:22 PM]


FS- Geissele SSA-E trigger $170 tyd by freezerfull
[Yesterday at 10:05:57 PM]


For Sale- KUIU ICON PRO 5200/1850 PACK by RIVERRAT
[Yesterday at 09:47:51 PM]


Question new muzzleloader, won't fire by Magnum_Willys
[Yesterday at 09:43:11 PM]