Walleye; The least sporty gamefish in North America, stunted and overpopulated in Lake Roosevelt and the Upper Columbia, usurper of native salmonids. Take a moment to protect native redbands in the Upper Columbia by commenting on WDFW’s Rule Proposal #15 to raise or eliminate the limit on walleye.
Archive for the 'BWTF Seal Of Approval' Category
From a Drakemag.com fly swap to a good idea to a worthy cause to this remarkable item for you to bid on to benefit Casting for Recovery.
And just in case that’s not enough to esplode yr brains, Robert Meiser will custom-build you a 13′ 6″ Highlander Classic S2H13068C-4 spey rod to your design specs.
Uncle Joey the Fixer reckons this package at over 6 grand, so gwan over here and bid often. Because screw cancer.
Matt gets his first steelhead. Matt is rather a bit pleased.
Epic photo by Buster’s pal Robin Hill at Brookside Hillbilly
Epic MAT! by Matt
Spring is still several months away in a North Cascade stream valley; the evergreen tree’s limbs are sagging under a load of snow and the forest floor and stream gravel bars have a “virginal” white blank of snow. Several miles of this ice rimmed stream flows through a relatively flat valley located more than 2,000 feet above sea level and more than 100 river miles from Puget Sound. In gravel below the frigid stream water life is beginning to stir. The cleanest and most stable gravels coupled with water temperatures just barely above freezing is providing a near ideal environment for the eggs of one of the Pacific Northwest’s enigmatic species. The next generation of native char of the region are preparing to hatch.
Bull Trout Biography written by a real fishologist.
Yellowstone Lake, and the network of tributaries that feed it, were once home to an estimated 4 million Yellowstone cutthroat trout. That was only a few decades ago. This YCT population is now determined to be less than 10% of historical numbers.
Lake trout, irresponsibly introduced into Yellowstone Lake in the 1980′s, have decimated the native cutthroat population. As if this isn’t enough, greater impacts are now also being documented. The reduction in cutthroat numbers, combined with the fact that lake trout tend to be a deepwater species for most of the year, have resulted in significant impacts on other native species that depend on the cutthroat as an important food source – eagles, osprey, bears, otters and more.
Sitting by and allowing the collapse of Yellowstone cutthroat in Yellowstone National Park – a keystone species of our nation’s flagship national park – would be a failure of unforgivable proportions. But there is hope.
In 2011, 220,000 lake trout were netted out of Yellowstone Lake. So far this season, the count is already approaching 200,000. Spawning beds are being identified and will be targeted for egg eradication. Lake trout are being tagged and their movements throughout the lake are being tracked.
There are plenty of places to fish for lakers. Yellowstone Park, where they are not native, and where they are destroying an already threatened native fish, doesn’t need to be one of them.
We can do this.
To learn more and help support the cause:
The third installment of New Water Media’s Skagit Master series, focusing on theory and application of modern steelhead fly design as it relates to Skagit style casting and gear, is reportedly due to hit the shelves before the end of this month. DVD pre-orders and site memberships (which authorize different levels of access to all Skagit Master material) can be purchased at the e-commerce site, where you can also view a short trailer of the show.
(In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit to having my grubby paw prints mucking up various parts of this production. Not the least of these, along side a few of my good friends, is the honor of participating as a featured tier. Please don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.)
After a few hiccups, fits, and false starts, the EPA has finally released the Draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment Report.
No surprise, but as it turns out, digging a huge fucking hole in the headwaters plain of several anadromous streams isn’t really a good idea when viewed against the background of the world’s largest sockeye fishery.
Some key findings:
The rivers of Bristol Bay support the world’s largest sockeye salmon runs (46% of the “global abundance” of sockeye) and its Chinook runs are near the world’s largest every year.
All five species of North American Pacific salmon are found in Bristol Bay. The Bristol Bay watershed supports the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world.
The Kvichak River produces more sockeye salmon than any other river in the world.
The Nushagak River is the fourth largest producer of Chinook salmon in North America.
Bristol Bay’s wild salmon fishery and other ecological resources provide at least 14,000 full and part-time jobs and is valued at about $480 million annually.
The average annual run of sockeye salmon is about 37.5 million fish.
Bristol Bay provides habitat for numerous animal species, including 35 fish species, more than 190 bird species and 40 animal species.
Aaaaaand a key excerpt:
“Based on this mine scenario, we conclude that, at a minimum, mining at this scale would cause the loss of spawning and rearing habitat for multiple species of anadromous and resident fish. A mine footprint of this scale would likely result in the direct loss of 87.5 to 141.4 km of streams and 10.2 to 17.3 km2 of wetlands. Additionally, water withdrawals for mine operations would significantly diminish habitat quality in an additional 2 to 10 km of streams. Assuming no significant accidents or failures, the development and routine operation of one large-scale mine would result in significant impacts on fish populations in streams surrounding the mine site. Accidents, process failures, and infrastructure failures could increase the spatial scale and severity of mining impacts on fish populations. Potential accidents include
(1) the release of acid, metal, and other contaminants from the mine site, waste rock piles, and tailings storage facilities (TSFs)
(2) the failure of roads, culverts, and pipelines in the transportation corridor, including spills of copper concentrate
(3) the catastrophic failure of a tailings dam.
Although precise estimates of the probabilities of failure occurrence cannot be made, evidence from the long-term operation of similar large mines suggests that, over the life span of a large mine, at least one or more accidents or failures could occur, potentially resulting in immediate, severe impacts on salmon and detrimental, long-term impacts on salmon habitat and production.”
While the EPA makes no pronouncements or decisions through this document, one fact becomes very clear in reading through the document:
Bristol Bay is the wrong place to allow industrial scale mining.
The job of convincing the Obama Administration to take action before January 20, 2013, now begins in earnest. Please take 5 minutes and fill out This Online Action Letter and ask the President to initiate the Clean Water Act process that will enable EPA to limit industrial scale mining in Bristol Bay. Ask your friends and family to do the same.
Shout outs to Trout Unlimited’s Tim Bristol and Shoren Brown for kicking more ass in a few years than most men in a lifetime. Respect to all the folks watching out for Bristol Bay, and thanks for your continued efforts.
They won’t go unnoticed, fisha.
Saving Bristol Bay for future generations
By Former Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) – 04/16/12 01:00 PM ET
We live in a time where jobs don’t exactly grow on trees, but in Alaska, it is fair to say that jobs grow on rivers. The Bristol Bay economy is threatened by the prospects of two foreign mining companies seeking to begin mining in the area, and it is up to Alaskans to protect their own economy.
Bristol Bay is legendary for sportsmen from across our great country. The sport fishing industry in Bristol Bay alone generates $65 million annually and supports more than 800 permanent jobs within the local community. Every year more than 60,000 visitors travel to the region for recreational opportunities. They come to absorb the scenic views, fish, hunt, and study the wildlife. These folks buy plane tickets, stay in local lodging, hire tour guides, purchase gear from local supply stores, and enjoy the local cuisine.
But all of what I have just talked about would be threatened by the creation of the Pebble Mine. The advocates for the mine suggest it will add jobs to the region, but fail to recognize that the mine’s presence could jeopardize an entire industry.
At its core, the issue is simple. The proposed Pebble Mine would be built at the headwaters of two rivers that feed Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska. The site contains a low-grade deposit of gold, copper, and molybdenum. Over its lifetime, the mine could produce up to 10 billion tons of toxic waste, which would be stored forever behind a series of dams in an area prone to earthquakes. If even trace amounts of this waste seep into the Bristol Bay watershed, much of the fishery and other wildlife could be seriously threatened.
The EPA has a rare opportunity to use its authority under the Clean Water Act to issue a narrow 404c ruling to protect local jobs and fishing habitats in Bristol Bay. The agency is currently undergoing a watershed assessment, which will be out in the coming weeks. If the EPA finds that Bristol Bay’s resources would be adversely affected by the enormous scale of the Pebble Mine, it could block the required federal dredge and fill permit.
The dangers posed to Bristol Bay are clear and abundant. Can science and engineering eliminate the risks posed by the Pebble Mine to Alaska’s economy? If the answer is yes, the mine’s backers should show how in a clear and unquestionable manner. If the answer is no, then mining companies shouldn’t be forced to throw away their capital needlessly.
I support protecting the current Bristol Bay economy and the environment at the same time. If a conservative Republican from North Carolina with a lifetime rating of 11% from the League of Conservation Voters can fight for this issue, I hope you can too!
Robin Hayes is a former Republican Congressman from North Carolina and current Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party. He is frequent visitor to Alaska’s Bristol Bay, where he stays at Brian Kraft’s Alaska Sportsman Lodges. Kraft is one of 40 sportsmen from 17 states in Washington, DC this week to express their support for protecting Bristol Bay and its watershed from the Pebble Mine.
Lifted in its entirety from The Hill’s “Congress Blog”.
The story behind Bob White’s cover art for Pulp Fly:
Pulp Fly: Volume One is now available for Kindle, iPad, etc.
And to find out more about Bob White’s fine works, check here.
Why did St. Patrick drive the snakes from Ireland?
They were too drunk to drive themselves.
If you happen to have a yen, a hankerin’, even a slight urge to go fish the Piscivorous Playground that is Alaska this coming season, take a look at this.
When you book a trip buy March 10th with the fine folks at Alaska FlyOut for a stay at one of the lodges pictured above , they will donate 5% of the package price to the Save Bristol Bay campaign.
Go ahead, do it.
You know you want to.
While hatchery steelhead may be the new Zebra Mussel, there is no denying the fact that they are tasty morsels from the sea. Scourge or no, they go well with just a shake of salt and pepper, splashed with the slightest amount of Olive Oil.
This, of course is the end game – before all of this, you will have played your fish with speed so as to not build up any bitter lactic acid (or to release it mostly free of those same acids, be it a wild fish), and landed it in expedient fashion. Regardless of the fact that it is seen by some as the devilspawn and a plague upon Northwest watersheds, dispatch it with efficiency, dignity, and respect, preferably using the time-tested “driftwood shampoo” method. When your fish has been rendered inert, remember to pop at least one gill arch to bleed it out…sweetens the meat, you understand. Keep it in a cool, moist condition, free from the damaging effects of wind, sun, and spilled drinks.
Once back in your domicile, allow the fish to lie in state in your fridge for 24 hours – the folks who eat fish straight out of the sea and claim it is better are unwashed heathen, and not to be trusted. Once it has gone through rigor mortis and has subsequently slacked out, reduce it to its component parts. If you do not know how to achieve the beauty that is the boneless fillet, allow our friends over at AFFG to show you how.
Introduce your steelhead to its new friends – olive oil, salt, and pepper. To put any more on it is to dilute the taste of years in the ocean, to cover up the nuances that make it what it is. After a brief stint on foil over the medium-hot flame of your grill, bring your fillet in and pair it with a good rosé, accompanied by a light mango salsa.
The next time you go fishing, do yourself and some Wild Steelhead a favor - kill a hatchery steelhead.
Somewhere in Texas, on a roadkill-spattered North-South state highway, there is a sign. It is a simple, modest sign, warped, whitewashed and carefully lettered with one word near and dear to my heart and an accompanying arrow pointing vaguely to the Southwest.
Just past this sign is a small camper with an awning, 2 tables, and another sign. The words on this sign are familiar as words, but as concepts they are far-ranging and can hold satisfaction or stark misery depending upon the disposition, aspirations, and general hygiene of the person or persons on the business end of the sign.
If a quick glance was all that was needed to determine the outcome, there isn’t much of a chance that this particular trailer would have much of a dog in the hunt. However, the combination of curiosity and hunger is often enough to overlook the decor and outward appearance that would otherwise lend itself well to the abattoir of your everyday teenage brain surgeon.
The ordinary cliché of “a diamond in the rough” is an unfortunate choice of metaphor, but for a beat-down taco trailer on the outskirts of a burnt-up town, I think it will do nicely.
If you happen to be on a roadkill-spattered North-South state highway in the middle of Texas and see this sign, do yourself a favor and stop. Ask the nice man for a Taco al Pastor with everything, and while you are at it, get a bottle of Mexican coke with all its cane-sugary goodness.
You will not be disappointed.
Ricmond Fontaine’s latest release The High Country takes everything that is hopeless and dark and psychotic about life in the commercial forests of the Northwest and records it in yonder can. It’s one of them high concept albums so you gotta listen to it from beginning to end. After you do that once you might want to shoot yerself in the head, don’t do it! The High Country gets better every time. Give it a listen if yer settin out for steelhead country alone this winter.
It’s been awhile since we’ve given away any free shit. Comment #69 wins this never worn, never seen Buster Prototype hat from the bacon_to_fry_collection*. Be the first on your river to sport this bad boy. We’ll also throw in some stickers. Limit three comments per reader.
*Hat courtesy of one fine Tennersee Truck Stop
We don’t want to beg, but please – if you have $3400 just burning a hole in your pocket, and you’re the type of person that simply loves helping others make their dreams come true, then please make a check out to the “Buster Wants a Wish Foundation.” We’ll take it from there.