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Your Opinion -New PS salmon regs

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 I plead ignorance, I did not realize WDFW had changed after many years, the retention of wild Chinook in the Tacoma -area 11 until the opener yesterday. When I research it, again, this was brought aout (very sneakily I might add) by the folks that say hatchery fish are evil. Ideally they'd like 100% harvest on returning hatcheries and 100% return on wilds, not realistic. I do not for one second believe that we still have a truly "pure" strain of salmon in any of our rivers, since hatchery fish have been around for over 100 years (25 generations of returning salmon). I do however, believe that without hatcheries, fishing would have ended long ago and certain runs of salmon would also now be extinct. Thoughts, opinions?

 On a side note, a lady landed a 30 plus pound hatchery fish yesterday, the nicest fish I've ever seen this time of year in area 11, real monster.

I am not a huge fan of hatchery chinook myself but I am seeing better numbers of them in the south sound.  I caught 2 hatchery chinookies today that were 12 lbs and 5 lbs off of McMicken Island today while the kids were playing on the beach.  The bait (herring or anchovies) is just thick down here.  I think that we do have a few (very few) decent native runs left.  Some of the up river brights in the Columbia and a few on the peninsula like the Hump, Hoh, etc.   I have seen pics of kings that were caught in the the upper Columbia before all the dams that were in the 80-90-100 lb range.  Those runs are definately long gone.  Hatcheries are great for keeping sportfishing chugging along, but imo, they are not doing any good for the native runs.  I also full heartedly believe that the introduction of chums by the tribes into many of the Puget Sound rivers and streams has severly damaged the chinook, coho and steelhead populations.  Several of our local rivers (i.e. Kennedy Creek, Skookum Creek, Skokomish etc) have been wiped completely out of everything except chums, mainly due to their agressive nature.  Chums will seek out nests of other species and tear them up.  20 years ago we use to catch 20+ lb kings and 10-14 lb coho in Totten inlet and would never see a rotten old dog salmon.  Not any more since the dogs have taken over.  Thanks WDFW and the tribes!

 Good input, I do agree that it would be desireable to theoretically have all wild fish, I just don't think that in today's day and age it's feasable. When I was on the PS salmon strategy advisory board, I spoke with the chairman about this issue often. From personal experience, I can say I would have kept perhaps two king's out of 12 that I've caught the last several years if the area's I'd fished were hatchery retention only. I hate to say it, but if they keep scaling back hatchery production and go to no wild fish retention anywhere in the State, I won't be buying a license. Our license $$$ directly effect the quality of fish we should have available through hatchery, habitat and enhancement programs. I like to point to the phenomenal growth of the PS sockeye fishery over the last few years. The Green river historical run of sockeye was numbered at a few thousand. Due to naturally spawning hatchery strays, returns now number over a million some years, with just a shot in the arm by local hatcheries. We need to be on guard for salmon fishing being taken away all together. I can speak first hand that if some higher ups in local and regional fisheries management had their way, we would not be fishing for them right now. To me we are more in danger of losing salmon fishing by far than we are in danger of losing hunting opportunity in Washington.

One thing about wild fish and hatchery fish.  Since hatchery fish make it up the river and spawn without all going to the hatchery, their bloodlines are now in the river.  What is good abou t this however is that their young, even if from hatchery stock, go through the same rigors of life as any wild fish, so what makes them any less wild.  Is this evil contamination?  If it weren't for hatchery stock, we wouldn't be fishing nowadays for them as you stated.  I agree with put everything wild back, and if there is to be any harvest, make it the fin clipped ones.

I don't have any issues with hatchery fish. i would rather fish for them than not fish at all. that is our saving grace. we have a summertime chinook fishery this year in area 9 for the first time in 10 years or something like that  :tup:
i always release wild fish wether i have to or not. i don't fish with bait hardly ever because there's too much potential for damage to fish that i intend to release. i keep salmon from the salt, maybe an occasional silver from the river if it's a chromer, and if i could ever catch a damn springer i'd keep one of them if it was bright too. i love catching wild fish and consider it a treasure, but i won't kill them, unless it's a situation where they  need thinning...like an overpopulated brook trout lake in the mountains with stunted fish, then a fish fry is in order.


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