From the President . . .

On The Stream, Setting An Example

As we are seeing a growth in fishing, especially fly fishing, Texas rivers, lakes, and bays are seeing more pressure than ever. As stewards to the Guadalupe River, we should be setting examples of stream etiquette and manners.

Just a couple of pointers:

If you are approaching someone else fishing, ask yourself if you are giving them enough space. The river is big enough that you don't need to be fishing right over their shoulder.

If you are fishing a run and not catching fish and someone else is waiting patiently, give them a chance to fish it (you might learn something new).

Don't stay on one run all day long, even if there aren't people waiting to get in, the word "pressure" translates to fish also, so give them a break.

This river is here for all Texans to enjoy, but some anglers don't understand stream manners and we should be the leaders and teachers, by example. A confrontation is generally not necessary and just ruins your day and someone else's. After all, it is "just fishin'."

On the National Front

The following article should be of interest to all GRTU members, since it involves one of the most urgent needs to protect our coldwater fisheries:

A BOLDER SNAKE RIVER SALMON RECOVERY PLAN IS NEEDED

By Jeff Curtis, TU's Western Conservation Director

A little more than five years ago, U.S. District Court Judge Malcolm Marsh admonished the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for its Northwest salmon recovery efforts, saying they were "too heavily geared towards a status quo, when the situation literally cries out for a major overhaul."

Simply put, the draft biological opinion released in July by NMFS does not measure up to the Judge's reasonable and accurate assessment. This is not a complete overhaul. The document, offering little more than a tune-up, is grounded in the faulty assumption that the region-and the salmon-have time to tinker with peripheral fixes while the four lower Snake dams, the heart of the problem, continue killing salmon.

The Administration is saying that we have five to 10 years, maybe longer, for salmon "habitat improvements" and the creation of "salmon sanctuaries" before we need to make any serious decisions. We do have salmon habitat and salmon sanctuaries, but they are either blocked by the four dams or buried underwater behind them.

The sad, simple fact is that time has literally run out on wild Snake River salmon. A Trout Unlimited-sponsored study completed by a well-respected biologist last year found that if conditions don't change, wild spring and summer chinook will be functionally extinct by 2017-a fact that was confirmed last year when two of seven wild Snake River spring and summer chinook indicator stocks had zero adults return to spawn. Do the math: A five- to 10-year delay coupled with the seven to nine years required for dam removal puts the salmon right to the edge of extinction or, in a worse case scenario, into the precipice of extinction. In the last five years Judge Marsh's decision has apparently fallen on deaf ears and a result, time has run out for the salmon and for us.

Wild Snake River salmon need boldness by the Administration and the recognition that we no longer have the luxury of time. The plan that was released fails to recognize that time has run out for the Snake River salmon. If allowed to go forward in its current form, it may well be a death sentence for the salmon.

TU has delivered over 9,000 comments to the Administration in support of dam removal. In the coming months, we will step up our public education and advocacy efforts and file comments on the draft biological opinion prior to the close of the agency's public comment period on September 27.

For more information, contact Jeff Curtis at (503) 827-5700; jcurtis@tu.org.

Tune Into TUTV

The 1999 season of "Trout Unlimited Television" is now airing on ESPN or ESPN2. Shows broadcast on Saturdays at 7 a.m. EST. As always, please confirm times with your local listings. For descriptions of the shows, visit www.tutv.org. The site also sells gear and merchandise as featured on TUTV, provides information on our sponsors, and offers "how-to" fishing tips for beginning and seasoned anglers.

Thank You,

Scott Graham, GRTU President

 

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