• No triploids? & very few "jumbo's"?

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 #240804  by Sideburns
 Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:42 pm
I don't see any triploids planned for this year? Also, except for the annual 2500 beaver lake monster trout in october-november, there aren't any "jumbo's" planned for king county or the entire region 4 either. ???? Anyone know more than me about this? The statewide total for triploid trout is 0?

 #240814  by JoshH
 Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:05 am
2 things I can think of, if the stocking plan for 2018 is accurate. 1st, triploids are usually purchased from private hatcheries, so that could be a funding issue. 2nd thing I can think of is since more lakes are going to be year round, maybe they are relying more on hold over fish? I know it shows my favorite lake, that always gets 15,000 put grow and take rainbows in the fall, the plan doesn't show that for this year. So not really sure if the reason is any of the above, or if this years plan just isn't that accurate.

Also, there are always stockings every year that happen that don't show up on the stocking plan.
 #240816  by Sideburns
 Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:14 pm
I'm hoping its inaccuracy, but have been occasionally been cross checking this years large fish from the stocking reports with the 2018 stocking plan.... so far pretty accurate. [sad] The classification of triploid, catchable and jumbo has changed many times over the years too. (ie: jumbo's and triploids were both called jumbo's on the 2015 plan.) As far as I know, the the jumbo classification is now only the non-genetically engineered fish..?
 #240940  by Sideburns
 Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:27 pm
fyi..... I fired off a few politely inquisitive emails to wdfw last week and havent got any responses.
 #240948  by Sideburns
 Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:12 pm
And here is the very specific answer from wdfw, mill creek team :

You are correct, there are no triploids this year. WDFW went into the 2017 legislative session with an identified shortfall of $27 million to provide the same services and products that we had in the previous biennium. At that time, we requested an increase in license fees to offset the increased cost of living and inflation, as the agency had not had a license fee increase since 2011. The legislature did not approve a fee increase due to a lack of support by hunters and anglers. They did provide a one-time budget increase of $10 million. That left WDFW with a hole of $17 million to fill. The agency was able to cover some of that with one time fund shifts and reductions in staff, but we were unable to cover it all. Therefore a number of services and products were cut to make up the difference. The triploid trout program was one of those cuts, as was a reduction in our lake rehabilitation program. As we move forward into the next biennium (beginning July of 2019), we will be facing a shortfall in excess of $30 million. If the legislature does not provide additional funds to the agency, the triploid program, along with many other services and programs will be in jeopardy. I’m sure it isn’t a message you want to hear, but it is the harsh reality of our current budget situation. As we approach the next legislative session, we could use support for increased funding to WDFW from anglers and hunters like yourself. I hope you will let your legislators know how important this resource is to you and that the agency needs to be funded at a level that allows it to continue to provide services and products.

WDFW is still raising over 16 million trout annually to support robust fisheries throughout the state, and the opening day of trout season is still the single busiest fishing day of the year. The annual freshwater fishing license at $30 continues to be a tremendous value to anglers.

We wish you the best of luck fishing this season, and hopefully we will have enough funding to purchase triploid trout for 2020.


WA Department Fish and Wildlife

Team Mill Creek

Customer Service
 #240949  by spokey9
 Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:07 pm
Not sure I believe all of that tbh. First off it seems they cut off one of the most popular products they produce, which sorta leads me to think they deliberately chose trips to cut in hopes of generating support for a license increase. 2nd we sportsman already carry the burden of funding the dept. Maybe they should've cut back commercial fishing to bridge the funding gap or put an increase in the licensing. There are lots of user groups who use wdfw lands and services outside hunters and anglers but again they chose the most popular thing they produce to cut. It really doesn't pass a smell imo.
 #240950  by Sideburns
 Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:16 pm
How does all that sit with you?

"cost of living increase?"

"Due to lack of support from hunters and anglers"

"tremendous value"
...my contributions to the wdfw were significantly more than 30 bucks

Trying not to be too negative here, but im feeling a little slapped in the face.
 #240951  by kodacachers
 Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:05 pm
I view the response as technically accurate, but missing the point. No doubt there has been cost increases since 2011 and I think its correct to say that hunters and anglers did not support the WDFW proposed fee increase. I think the slap in the face came back then when they proposed a 30% increase without even trying to get the anglers on board and without addressing the inequity in the sport vs. commercial catch versus funding. Maybe they learned and will come back with a proposal that we can all stand behind......maybe.
 #240978  by Juniah87
 Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:43 pm
Hey all! I know I haven't been here in a while, but I just got settled in at Pullman to begin classes in May, so I finally have a little down time to cruise the forums a little bit again. As a former WDFW employee, I saw this topic and my heart sank a little. thought I could provide a little information that may help anglers understand the thoughts behind what they are doing. This is, of course, what I think they are doing and why, it is by no means a complete explanation or claim to know what the WDFW is doing, just an explanation as I see it from having worked there for 5 years.

spokey9 wrote:Not sure I believe all of that tbh. First off it seems they cut off one of the most popular products they produce, which sorta leads me to think they deliberately chose trips to cut in hopes of generating support for a license increase. 2nd we sportsman already carry the burden of funding the dept. Maybe they should've cut back commercial fishing to bridge the funding gap or put an increase in the licensing. There are lots of user groups who use wdfw lands and services outside hunters and anglers but again they chose the most popular thing they produce to cut. It really doesn't pass a smell imo.

I believe the reasoning behind the cutting of triploids before reducing the number of catchables is two fold. First off, the cost of raising triploids is quite a bit more expensive in several different ways than regular catchable sized rainbow trout. Because of their rapid growth, they need more tank space, and require more oxygen, so when we are splitting the fish out into the ponds shortly after they are ponded as fry, we separate them by size (grade them) and place them into ponds at the densities at which we will plant them. This means that maybe a couple months after they are ponded as fry, they will be transported to the ponds they will spend their entire time at the hatchery in. They do this to limit stress, which is the number 1 killer of fish in captivity. Now because densities are based on the square footage of the tanks in relation to the pounds of fish, the tanks holding triploids have much fewer fish in them. So to kind of simplify everything, think of it as a hatchery may have 6 ponds to hold fish in. You can either have 6 ponds with 3,000 catchable sized rainbow in them totalling 18,000 fish, or you can have 6 ponds with 1800 triploids in each, totalling 10,800 fish. that is a big difference, and a hatchery with only 6 ponds would be extremely small, so you can imagine the number differences in the larger production hatcheries. The WDFW strives for overall number of fish over size, because it gives the most angler's the highest probability of catching fish when they go fishing. Another part that plays into the cost of raising and planting triploids is the cost of transportation. Just like the ponds in the hatcheries, the trucks are also filled based on a specific density (available square feet in the tanks compared to pounds of fish) So when you are transporting these larger fish, you are forced to transport significantly less fish. So in order to transport 1000 fish, you may be able to fit that number of catchables in one truck load to the lake, where as with triploids, it may take 3 or 4 loads to get the same number there. At least this is my understanding of their thought process from what limited interaction I had with the people higher up the food chain. I hope that kind of helps shed light on why they are doing what they are doing there.

As a side note, did the customer service person from Mill Creek give you a name? I'm not sure if he still works there, but Kevin Clark was the region 4 manager for WDFW while I was going to school for my fisheries degree, you may try calling the listed number for the Bellingham hatchery and ask to speak with him regarding the decisions made. I know he went to Mill Creek for WDFW meetings with the higher-ups all the time (He hated that part of his job, haha!) But he is a fisherman that now runs hatcheries, as opposed to the typical hatchery regional managers that aren't actually outdoorsmen.

As for the salmon side of things, I believe the tribes have much more impact on these discussions than the WDFW does. At least when I was working there, our budget was affected pretty heavily by their decision making because the percentage they wanted to allow the gillnetters to take pretty much gave us an expected percentage return, and our budget was based on how much it would cost to rear that percentage to release size. You also have to remember that the salmon and trout budgets are based on different things, and are usually kept separate. lots of hatcheries deal with either one or the other, very few state hatcheries deal with both salmon, and trout.

Anyways, sorry for the long-winded post, but I hope that clears a couple things up for you guys!

Forgot to talk about the cost of living question I saw as well. Most hatcheries have what is called mandatory stand-by at their facilities when the eggs begin hatching, until the fish are ponded. This is generally facilitated by an employee that lives on-station. So I believe the cost of living they are refering to is the cost of having an employee live on station. I was that employee for a state hatchery a few years ago. What they do is they pay for your electric, rent, heat, ect. ect. and they take a very small portion of your paycheck to cover these funds. The amount they take from your paycheck has been the same for several years, from what I understand, and has not changed in a very long time. So I'm assuming they are referring to how much it costs the state to have an employee live on station.
 #240980  by Sideburns
 Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:34 pm
Thanks Juniah87 for your insight into the topic, I'm very interested in how these things go down. I did not get a name from the Mill Creek email response. Whoever it was, spent a fair amount of time responding to me, and I appreciate the effort. Over the years, Ive sent maybe a dozen emails to wdfw, and this was one of the very few responses i've ever received.

Much of what i hear from other anglers and what Ive experienced myself from the wdfw tends to make me feel "in the dark" and or misinformed.... and after being told my anticipated fish weren't coming, the comment "due to lack of support from anglers" really rubbed me wrong. -Especially right after spending over a hundred bucks on fishing license/ discovery pass, etc.. Ive spent quite a lot of time researching the kokanee and triploid trout stocking programs, this year and past years, and this is the first ive heard of the possibility of loosing the triploid trout program. I completely understand funding problems and costs are out of most wdfw employees control, but its pretty hard to support an endangered program that nobody knows is in jeopardy. Thanks again though for your insight into how the hatcheries work.

You wouldn't happen to have any info related to the kokanee hatcheries in the south sound areas?
 #241037  by Juniah87
 Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:48 pm
Yeah, ironically, a majority of the wdfw employees also think the resource is being, and has been poorly managed. It's unfortunate because it seems like the top dogs in the wdfw are always politicians instead of conservationists or outdoorsmen/women. Until they get someone on that throne that appreciates the resource as much as the average angler, I really don't see them taking the steps necessary to fully correct the sinking ship.

I do not know much about the Kokanee program. I do know the majority of the kokanee that are planted in lakes come from the South Lake Whatcom Hatchery. When I was going through the fisheries program at bellingham Tech, they had actually refused to let students assist in the Kokanee program up until I enrolled because a few bad apples had blown off spawning days and left the workers there with a bunch of extra work to do on several occasions. Luckily when I enrolled they decided to give the students another chance, so I did get a chance to help out here while in the program. All I know is they had 2 full-time employees, and they hired a temp to help during spawning season. they would take several million eggs, they would keep the ones allocated for the Lake Whatcom watershed, and they would export the rest to other hatcheries, and even some to other countries. I hadn't heard of any possible budget cuts to this particular hatchery, but that isn't to say other hatcheries which normally rear kokanee as lake plants weren't being threatened with budget cuts or deficits. The only hatcheries I know of that were in danger of being closed down because of budgetary issues were Samish, and Bellingham (The trout hatchery near Sudden Valley). I have worked at a number of hatcheries all accross the state, both public and private, so if you have a specific hatchery in mind let me know, and I'll give you as much info as I can on them.

Sorry the reply took so long, been busy getting everything all set up at the new location, been a busy month. Tight lines!

~ Jeff