|a wild steelhead in hand nothing comprares|
Well I have had this subject on my mind for a long time, and I am going to say a few word about hatchery Steelhead. The opinions that are about to be elaborated on are my own I am not trying to persuade or damn anyone for there own opinions, I just need to speak and this blog is sometimes my soap box.
Lets start out with the view as presented by the Native Fish Society, and some of the other conservation organizations. The Idea of conservation is hard to put next to the lets play god mentality of some of these guys ( whom I speak of I will keep name less). Kill every hatchery originated fish that comes to your line in an attempt to cleanse the river of undesirables, sound like what happen to a group of people around the 1940’s. The next best part of the propaganda is that they attempt to convince you that by killing these fish that you are now a foot soldier in the war against hatchery supplementation. Now I am all for better fishery, and more wild fish. I also believe that each one you or for that matter anyone of us kills you are just reaffirming the hatchery programs to produce more of these fish because that is what we the resource users are telling them with our harvest cards. It is just the simple concept of supply and demand, hatcheries are a multi million dollar businesses nothing more.
Now I have done some Ideology bashing lets talk about good conservation and great science in the world steelhead. The newly added weirs on the east side Deschutes river tribs. Have been nothing short of amazing in the amount of good, real, accurate data on the river drainage. It show us things about the river we before had only speculated at. The weirs gave us light as to what spawning grounds yielded the best returns and where now we can effectively focus our money and efforts. And you know what 3 cheers for Buckhollow the highest wild fish producer on the lower Deschutes rivers.
In conclusion I would like to say in the end, the choice is yours. The law gives you every right to kill. The fact of the matter is when you and your next hatchery fish meet, and you think about the fact that this guy made the same epic journey as all the other fish and survived all the same strife. Be it you kill for the table or you think you have been called to a higher power, or you release because you believe in the sport the choice is yours… Tight Lines