Saving Wild Steelhead and Sportfishing

Saving Wild Steelhead & Sport Fishing   In a nutshell: The tribes in Washington State own the fishery hands down not going to change that. If we stop all hatchery production the tribes will fish on the remaining wild steelhead even more than they do now. This will lead to closures and the end of public sports fishing. By all of us working together with the newest technology “pit tags and supplemental brood stocking programs” on river systems under the tribal commercial fishery or rivers with poor performing fish passages there is hope for those Wild steelhead runs and the future of Sport fishing. The future of wild steelhead and salmon lies in the hands of sport fishermen, we simply care for them the most and in turn we are the most un organized of any user group. The introduction of wild gene bank Rivers is a huge step in the right direction and gene banks should be used as such to revitalize poor returning systems within their geographical areas, or to balance the impact from commercial angling. History has proven that commercial angling, habitat blockages and poor hatchery practice will destroy not only wild fish runs but sportfishing as a way of life. Is there hope for steelhead angling? From my first self-caught wild steelhead on the Methow river at age 13 on a muddler I had a feeling that wild steelhead would forge my life. Sports fishermen have commonly promoted and preached the virtues of saving wild salmon and steelhead since the early 80’s. Now we (sportsmen/special interest groups) are systematically killing the sport fishing industry/lifestyle, one of the few industries in the US that has an ecologically tiny footprint. Fishermen have rallied to save the wild steelhead of Washington so dear to them, only to propagate their own demise through some special interest groups. Some groups want to see no sport fishing at all and support a total commercial fishing platform. Problems