Friday, May 7, 2010

Wild Steel on Ice...How do I respond to this?

I need your help.  I need to know how to respond to an issue that's under my skin.

As detailed at Washington Fly Fishing, Moldy Chum and Skate the Fly, world Famous Pike's Street Fish Market in Seattle continues to sell wild steelhead

I am a hunter, I am a fisherman, and I retain a good deal of what I set out to catch or kill.  But there's one item that can get us all going....the retention of wild stocks of andronomus fish.  Washington State still manages to allow us to keep one wild fish per year on the Olympic Penninsula and I cant figure out why. 

Now the tribes still can retain whatever they catch via the Bolt Decision....and that's where these fish at Pike's are coming from. 

So I put my do-gooder hat on and fire off this message to the Fish Mongers
(sorry for the poor grammar...I was doing about five projects when I sent the mail)

For gosh sakes, please reconsider your practice of selling wild steelhead. The stocks your selling from are some of the last remaining, somewhat heathly, wild stocks...and even they are hanging near the edge. Consider selling hatchery fish...which we have in abundance on some of the rivers in the state of Washington. This is just terrible PR and poor form when the rest of the globe is looking harder at sustainability

These fish are our canary in the coalmine. Please change this practice

Quickly enough, I get this response back

"I have received your email and will forward it to the owner. Please know that we don't buy any illegal or endangered steelhead. The Native Americans pretty much run the commercial steelhead industry in Washington and are highly regulated by the state. It is not illegal for them to catch and or sell wild fish. The fish are coming from rivers on the Olympic Peninsula, and if you check the link I sent you, you can see that the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife are not concerned with Steelhead populations in this area. Thanks for your concern. (Name withheld here) @ Pike Place Fish"

So here it stands, and I dont know how to go about responding to this. 

Is it illegal to sell wild fish...NO.

Are they contributing to the rapid decline of the OP wild fish.  Yes, I would think so. 

If the market wasnt there, would the tribes continue to net and sell wild steelhead.  I dont think so. 

Please, help me properly respond to these guys.  Just because it's not illegal doesnt make it right

And if you want your voice heard by Pike's Street Fish Market, click here

1 comment:

  1. Inform the uninformed. Groups like HSUS are able to go around recruiting people that don't know any better to join their cause (however ridiculous and a direct violation of civil rights their cause may be, read: I DON'T SUPPPORT HSUS). These people are signing up because they simply don't know any better. There has to be a voice against poor legislation issues. Maybe a simple enough answer would be writing your local state rep and asking them to consider modifying the law. However, it can't be something like: "Don't sell wild Steelhead because we like to catch them for sport." There has to be a benificial twist on the pitch- something like: "Sell hatchery Steelhead, and tax it sufficiently to improve our native fisheries research program." Or maybe even a special tax on the wild fish they do sell to put back into research. People may be less apt to buy it. But what do I know... I'm from Ohio. We set a river on fire. Twice.