Imagine if we were to have wild steelhead, our Washington state fish back to sustainable numbers around the state to allow 6 months a year of guiding for them, here is what we would put as a monetary value of that said commodity as a basis for advertising our business:
1 angler from out of state could spend approximately this while in WA for a single day of fishing with the idea that just 1 of these wild fish had the potential to be caught, admired and released...
Air Fare: $500
Hotel: $100 per night
Guide: $550 per day
Food and Beverage: $40 per day
Fishing License: $20
Rental Car: $200
Ferry Fees: $40
Daily Shuttle Fee: $30
Incidentals: $150 or more
So on a single day, 1 angler could account for this much to the local economy on a single day:
$1630 for 1 angler
We have a staff and connection of 10 licensed and insured fly fishing guides that with a higher percentage of "wild" steelhead we could book ever single week. Take this number above and multiply that by 10 and this is what the number looks like:
Now if you take the notion that well managed fisheries for the survival and sustainability of these wild steelhead, our Washington state fish, could have a dual season between summer and winter where for 180 days of the year, we had a good shot at these fish, enough to keep our entire staff busy for 180 day a year, this is what that number looks like:
This is 180 days or 25 weeks of the year, keeping 10 local Washington residents employed, paying sales tax on nearly 100% of this figure, supporting other local Washington businesses and several Washington state agencies in the process both directly and indirectly (guide license fees, special use permits on Premier Watersheds, insurance, CPR/First Aid).
This is just our business. Imagine if all fly fishing businesses in Washington of similar size did the same thing? Imagine all FISHING businesses in Washington could do the same thing? Imagine if that season of only 6 months was extended for another 2-3 month period as it once was? Imagine if we valued these fish as a symbol of this awesome state. If we made sure not only our residents but every sport angler from surrounding states and provinces put this same value on them and in return gave same consideration to them, our water, state and successful management of these fish as one of the single greatest game fish on the planet.
We should be embarrassed about how much better the wild steelhead fishing is once we leave our state in any direction but use that as fuel to turn the table and set the tone for change, to return our state fish to glory and stature it once possessed and deserves.