View Full Version : to poach or not to poach?
12-04-2011, 03:38 PM
I began my addiction to steelhead fishing four years ago and have been pursuing chrome almost every weekend since then. It has brought me to live here on vancouver island, a place so abundant with streams and rivers it's a fishermans paradise, that is until you read the regs... almost every stream is closed to fishing in the winter, and when open it is usually only open in the most difficult sections to access or its made flyfishing only which is pretty impossible on bouldery or canyon water of the westcoast. but none of this applies if your a poacher, so why not poach? who is too say its wrong, the gorvernment closes streams when there is an increase in pressure and they dont have the funds to police the system against poachers. A river i fished one season on the westcoast is now closed because poachers kept on tearing down or shooting the boundary sign, so new anglers to the system would not know where it was closed.
Why should i never have the chance to fish the nahmint, a stream once world renowned for spring fishing on the fly but now only open to poachers. When there's not enough fisheries officers to enforce laws and closing streams is the gorvernments solution, why not say screw the law and hit it anyways. I used to think illegal fishing was unethical but maybe the poachers are the smart ones with more balls then the rest of us
12-04-2011, 04:31 PM
Flouting the law because it is unevenly applied, inconvenient or because some bad guys get away with it anyway, is a slippery moral and ethical slope. Bad for society and bad for you. Like all wrongdoing, it can be rationalised away or deemed by the perpetrator as "no big deal". The end result is a society of anarchy, with no rules, no ethics and ultimately, no protection for the weak or defenceless. Think carefully before you join the "Dark Side" youngsteelheader. Instead, think about what can you personally do to make things better, and do that instead.
12-04-2011, 04:32 PM
Most wintertime closures were implemented to protect summer run steelhead stocks
and the reasons to not poach are both fairly obvious and numerous.
And it doesn't take any balls to poach, just a lack of brains.
12-04-2011, 04:45 PM
A caught poacher is always a poacher. Is it really worth loosing the respect of others you share your passion with?
12-04-2011, 07:03 PM
im not advocating poaching or am planning on fishing closed streams i just dont understand how the government closes a stream and all of the sudden its unethical to fish it. Drinking and driving is against the law, the results can be deadly and people don't loose the respect of their peers for doing it most of the time. ..... if the hair is raising on the back of your neck and you are clenching your fist, just stirring up conversation about an issue im curious about
12-04-2011, 07:23 PM
I agree with YS, his point is simply we close rivers with the best of intentions only to leave them wide open to poachers. The biggest risk a poacher faces is running across another angler on the river while he's bonking a fish...quite likely he might find himself treading water for a while.
I personally have a real issue with this form of management...or rather mis-management. Why I say that is simply if we were to closely examine the actual steelhead hook mortality data based on hatchery broodstock programs it is clear the mortality is very low when fish are caught using smaller tackle (hooks). The best example is the Coquihala Summer run broodstock with less than 1% mortality using roe and small hooks (less than #1 hook size, and most using #4). Why not open up rivers, and manage the hook mortality issue by imposing maximum hook gap regulations. After all, whether you catch them with a fly hook or a bait hook, a hook is still a hook....and size matters.
So before we jump all over the YS, lets examine his point of view more closely. Time in my view to stop the non-sensical way we are managing steelhead fisheries on the Island. I would rather see the focus being on finding ways to work with anglers to increase the recruitment, increase the angling participation in this fishery and restore our sport fishery on the Island. The current approach is driving new and old steelhead anglers towards other forms of recreation.
In the end if we have fewer anglers with a passion for steelhead, it will mean there will be less and less eyes on our rivers protecting them.
12-04-2011, 07:43 PM
The part i dont get is if you have a problem with a river closure, how are you supposed to rally people against closures of streams when speaking of any river other than the stamp in public or online is a looked as a negative, the whole everyman for himself, early bird gets the worm mentality us steelheaders have. how do you rally a community together that wishes they could have the water all to themselves and make public issues regarding a river, no one wishes to speak of. Sure i would beat the crap out of a guy bonking a wild beauty on a bc stream, but does he need to be harassed if he is fishing with roe 20 feet above the bucket????
12-04-2011, 08:10 PM
To poach or not to poach?
Absolutely not. Why would you joining the other poachers make anything better for anyone? As mentioned, closures and restrictions are there for a reason. Usually to protect a stock of fish that is under pressure or endangered.
12-04-2011, 08:39 PM
Yep, all good points. Not sure what the big deal is for guys to express their views. Its not like you are advocating poaching. On the contrary, the point of your post was to get folks thinking about the regulations and what exactly they are doing for the fishery...or in this case..not doing. Last time I checked we are "sport fishing" not commercial fishing. The whole point is to enjoy the fish, promote the experience and protect our resource while doing it. The last thing we need is more river closures.
12-04-2011, 08:44 PM
when i was in new zealand last winter i was really impressed with how anglers would leave notes on their dash telling which part of the river they would be on to avoid fishing water behind someone, while us canadians snarl in our mind if someone else walks on to "OUR" pool while setting up gear or munching on a sandwich. why is there such a secracy about streams when there not such a sercret.... people think holmes is letting out a secret by posting pics of the gold but who hasnt read the backroads mapbook write-up on it. the reality is if river closures would ease off there would be less of a chance of seeing someone at your lucky spot
12-04-2011, 08:49 PM
what exactly is the deffinition of poaching anyway?.....holmes*
What I think of poaching is any taking of an animal (fishing, hunting or trapping) when the legal season is closed or taking more than your allocated limit when the season is open. Also using any method that is illegal to catch/kill your prey is poaching.
Wikipedia has a broader description of the term:
"Poaching is the illegal taking of wild plants or animals contrary to local and international conservation and wildlife management laws. Violations of hunting laws and regulations are normally punishable by law and, collectively, such violations are known as poaching.
It may be illegal and in violation because
The game or fish is not in season; usually the breeding season is declared as the closed season when wildlife species are protected by law.
The poacher does not possess a valid permit.
The poacher is illegally selling the animal, animal parts or plant for a profit.
The animal is being hunted outside of legal hours.
The hunter used an illegal weapon for that animal.
The animal or plant is on restricted land.
The right to hunt this animal is claimed by somebody.
The type of bait is inhumane. (e.g. food unsuitable for an animal's health)
The means used are illegal (for example, baiting a field while hunting quail or other animals, using spotlights to stun or paralyze deer, or hunting from a moving vehicle, watercraft, or aircraft).
The animal or plant is protected by law or that it has been listed as extinct or endangered (see for example the Endangered Species Act for the USA or the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and similar laws/treaties).
The animal or plant has been tagged by a researcher.
Note that only wild animals can be poached. Stealing or killing domestic animals is considered to be theft ("cattle rustling"), not poaching."
12-04-2011, 09:33 PM
Thought you would know this stuff Holmes
How To Poach Fish
Poached fish is a simple and delicious dish that can be prepared quickly and easily. Poaching is a good technique for cooking lean fish like tilapia, cod, sole, haddock, snapper or halibut, as well as fatty fish like salmon or trout.
Poaching preserves moisture and adds flavor without adding fat — though you may want to serve poached fish with a sauce.
12-04-2011, 09:41 PM
Yes it would be called fishing in closed waters and a fine of 250 bone IF caught. If you kill something kiss your vehicle good by and a ban from having a fishing license.
12-04-2011, 09:43 PM
lol about the poached fish (cooking).
but seriously, even if you are not killing the fish if you are fishing out of season it is illegal and harmful. I'm not going to advocate for poaching in any scenario.
If you disagree with the rules then make your voice heard and try to change them. Don't lower yourself to the level of poachers.
12-04-2011, 10:09 PM
Agreed, but when the rules don't make sense there is nothing wrong with advocating changing them either. Would like to see more rivers opened up for steelheading by implementing a maximum hook size restriction.
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