As a Wild Steelhead Coalition board member, I have the pleasure of working with Greg Fitz daily. Greg penned this piece on this season’s coastal rule changes and the future of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula wild steelhead.
Despite the enthusiasm and hype, or maybe because of it, the fish are slipping away. Their numbers have been falling for as long as we’ve kept track. For decades, fishery managers have had to be dragged kicking and screaming for them to show any effort to stop the bleeding or even publicly acknowledge the problem. They often claimed there was no reason to be concerned; only conceded to incremental limitations; offered sloppy, expensive hatchery interventions to obscure the losses; and otherwise defaulted to policies that guaranteed the most fish would be killed each season. As a result, many steelhead rivers on the Olympic Peninsula are close to requiring protection under the Endangered Species Act. Some would undoubtedly qualify right now if petitioned.
LINK (via: Patagonia)