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Thread: No bait on the Kenai

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    Default No bait on the Kenai

    Bait prohibited in Kenai River

    Posted by pdougherty
    Posted: July 22, 2011 - 2:38 pm
    From an ADF&G press release:
    Bait will soon be prohibited throughout the lower and middle Kenai River.
    From the mouth of the Kenai upstream to ADF&G markers at the outlet of Skilak Lake, sport fishing gear is limited to one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure. The rule takes effect at 12:01 a.m., Monday, July 25, and will remain in effect through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, July 31.
    http://community.adn.com/?q=adn/node/157658

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    This is nothing more than political bullcrap. So we have a situation that requires action and sport fish division issues an e.o on the 22nd going to no bail on the 25th. So the weekend fishery is preserved and the action is really meaningless in the big picture. It only puts pressure on other user groups without really impacting the sport fishery - th--25 out of 30 days of fishing have taken place. Does sport fish division care about the resource or users - my opinion is their user group which is a sad situation. Slikok Creek was one example this is another. They should be ashamed. What will no bait save in terms of spawing fish 5 days of fishing with no bait- come on - the uncertainity in the counts is greater than what is saved.

  3. #3

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    It's actually 7 fishing days, not 5. Looking at their summary information it looks like it may save several thousand kings plus the kings that will be saved in the dipnet fishery. For the dipnet fishery it's 8 days or more than a third of the fishery which has taken up to 1,500 kings in a season. Not to mention the river has been closed to retention above the Slikok Sanctuary all of July. It appears like real savings to me. I'm guessing if F&G thought they needed more, they would have closed so commercial would close and put another 3-4 thousand in the river. A bit surprised at your response that appears to have been made without looking at the data, but then sport fish can never do anything right in your opinion.

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    Not true. I do not believe the no bait numbers and have seen nothing to show those assumptions are correct. Also the figures you use for the dip net fishery are not even close to an average year let alone a poor chinook run year. Smoke and mirrors as far as I can tell.

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    Then show me your numbers.

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    commfish, according to ADF&G (2011 Report by Tim McKinley and Robert Begich) only once in history has the dip net fishery harvested 1,500 Kings, and that was over an entire season on a strong year. Last year (typical of this year's returns) it was about half of that. The average over the years is about 850. So with only 8 days of the dip net season closed to king retention, dip netters might "save" 250 Kings at best. Hardly a "real savings"...especially considering the gauntlet of thousands of sportfisherman waiting for them just around the corner.

    Not sure how you figure closing commercial fishing would put another 3-4 thousand in the river. According to ADF&G they have only harvested 4,553 the entire season (as of July 22).

    With regard to closed to retention above Slikok...all it did was conentrate thousands of sportfishermen elsewhere on the same run of fish. OMG...there are so many boats clogging the River, it's nearly impossible to navigate. I had to idle between lines and take 5-foot wake over the rail just to make headway. It is literally laughable. I am embarassed to say I live near this joke of River. Sportfish, DNR, etc should be ashamed.

    Also, when you consider there are no powerboats on Monday, and no guides on Sunday, this does only leave 5 days of full-on fishing when harvests are truly maximized by the commercial guide fleet.

    So I have to agree with Nerka. This is an empty, non-sincere effort on conservation, and more patsy management favoring economics, politics, and sportfishing pressure over the resource. That's why it's over folks...ruined.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    commfish, according to ADF&G (2011 Report by Tim McKinley and Robert Begich) only once in history has the dip net fishery harvested 1,500 Kings, and that was over an entire season on a strong year. Last year (typical of this year's returns) it was about half of that. The average over the years is about 850. So with only 8 days of the dip net season closed to king retention, dip netters might "save" 250 Kings at best. Hardly a "real savings"...especially considering the gauntlet of thousands of sportfisherman waiting for them just around the corner.

    Not sure how you figure closing commercial fishing would put another 3-4 thousand in the river. According to ADF&G they have only harvested 4,553 the entire season (as of July 22).

    With regard to closed to retention above Slikok...all it did was conentrate thousands of sportfishermen elsewhere on the same run of fish. OMG...there are so many boats clogging the River, it's nearly impossible to navigate. I had to idle between lines and take 5-foot wake over the rail just to make headway. It is literally laughable. I am embarassed to say I live near this joke of River. Sportfish, DNR, etc should be ashamed.

    Also, when you consider there are no powerboats on Monday, and no guides on Sunday, this does only leave 5 days of full-on fishing when harvests are truly maximized by the commercial guide fleet.

    So I have to agree with Nerka. This is an empty, non-sincere effort on conservation, and more patsy management favoring economics, politics, and sportfishing pressure over the resource. That's why it's over folks...ruined.
    Thanks Grampyfishes. I had checked the ADF&G release and found it totally bogus. The numbers you cite are what I came up with before I posted. But they were off the top of my head from my experience. So wanted to check for comm fish even if he used numbers that were not even close to reality.

    If the numbers were this low at the mid point of the return why not take action then as opposed to 2/3 on average run timing. What is the run timing this year, why wait until the 25th if the escapement is going to be at the bottom end or lower. Only one reason - no one in ADF&G wants to take on the sport fishery political power of KSFA or the guides.

  8. #8

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    I guess the real question is whether the commercial fishery will be or should be limited to make sure the minimum Kenai king goal is reached in a year with at least 6.7 million sockeye.

    The pro-sportfish guys will say of course because we've already been restricted. And the pro-comfish guys are saying heck no because the sport restrictions are negligible.

    So then, do the upper Kenai sockeye goals trump the lower Kenai king goals in a year like this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    . . do the upper Kenai sockeye goals trump the lower Kenai king goals in a year like this?
    A nonsensical proposition, Bfish, because we all know the "goals" for each are politically, not biologically, determined.

    As I see it, the question is really "does sportfish/Penny/KRSA political pull trump gill-net political pull?"

    The various biological expertise/input is merely window-dressing and theater-for-the-masses.

    Carry on . . . . . .



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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    This is nothing more than political bullcrap. So we have a situation that requires action and sport fish division issues an e.o on the 22nd going to no bail on the 25th. So the weekend fishery is preserved and the action is really meaningless in the big picture. It only puts pressure on other user groups without really impacting the sport fishery - th--25 out of 30 days of fishing have taken place. Does sport fish division care about the resource or users - my opinion is their user group which is a sad situation. Slikok Creek was one example this is another. They should be ashamed. What will no bait save in terms of spawing fish 5 days of fishing with no bait- come on - the uncertainity in the counts is greater than what is saved.
    I hear ya Nerka. Lets call a spade a spade, the pukes are prejudice against folks that fish w/ bait, thats all. I wish it was like the old days when the only Alaska fishermen were gillnetters and bait fisherman, the flyguys were in their parents backyard back in Vermont playing w/ their ken and barbie deluxe motorhomes, meanwhile the dippers were back in Kansas cuddling their cabbage patch dolls while their folks were demanding their free share of the local farmers harvest





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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Thanks Grampyfishes. I had checked the ADF&G release and found it totally bogus. The numbers you cite are what I came up with before I posted. But they were off the top of my head from my experience. So wanted to check for comm fish even if he used numbers that were not even close to reality.

    If the numbers were this low at the mid point of the return why not take action then as opposed to 2/3 on average run timing. What is the run timing this year, why wait until the 25th if the escapement is going to be at the bottom end or lower. Only one reason - no one in ADF&G wants to take on the sport fishery political power of KSFA or the guides.
    The king harvest in the pu fishery in 2007, '08, & 09 was 1,509, 1,362, 1,189. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/FDS10-89.pdf

    The commercial harvest on the beach is now up to 4,500 with the setnets taking around 400 kings each period, sometimes up to 700. With the run estimate now over 4 million, they will fish even more hours on the beach until August 15. That's 23 more days with only one 36-hr mandatory closure per week, which leaves about 20 days that the beach is likely to fish. Let's be conservative and say they will only harvest 300 kings during only 15 days of fishing. That still comes to 4,500 kings that may be harvested.

    Looking at the king salmon updates F&G have been putting out twice a week, they have been warning everyone that bait restrictions are coming. Last Tuesday they explained there was an increase of kings over the weekend and as long as that increased kept going, they could hold off on pulling bait. I guess being out of town you must have missed that. Just like you must have missed the information they have been putting out regarding sport harvest numbers and excellent fishing conditions inriver.

    If you disagree with their assessment, fine, show us your assessment and how it was derived. But sitting half a world away and taking pot-shots is just plain petty. I can only imagine the grief those managers are getting from guides who want bait, drift boaters who wanted one more day, and setnetters who are fearful of a closure. It didn't matter what F&G did, someone was going to complain.

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    Commfish - again your analysis is flawed and being half a world away with the internet and the data provided by ADF&G allows for comment. Nothing petty about this. Sportfish Division has for years waited until the last week to put in restrictions knowing full well that the real pressure is being applied to the commercial fisheries managers. If the numbers you cite for the commercial fishery are true then this run is an average run with little chance of not meeting the goal. You cannot have it both ways. That is the problem here - the uncertainty in the king estimate is so great that no one knows for sure what is happening. Just a few years ago the sonar numbers would have had everyone with extra time. The commercial numbers are good if they are taking 300-400 per period. There should be no restrictions with those numbers. The problem is sport fish division refused to admitt that the sonar was wrong and failed to take action when others were telling them. Now they are guessing and taking action late in the season when their fishery is over along with the dip net fishery. So the pressure is to do something in August with the commercial fishery for putting coho in the river not kings. Been there done that with them.

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    commfish, your exact type of deception and misguided influence is what has driven this fishery into the ground. The fuzzy math you concoct to get your "real savings" is half-baked and misleading. You know it. And the personal jabs, accusing someone who has dedicated his life to understanding the management of this fishery, are pure distraction. Ironically it is you who has taken "petty pot-shots" and made contentious innuendos. As Marcus and Nerka point out, the no-bait restriction is an empty, insincere effort toward conservation, and a blatent example of the economic, political, and special sportfishing influenced patsy management that we've had for years, which for some reason you support here.

    To use a baseline of 1,500 Kings from the 2007 personal use fishery is deceptive. Not only is that an entire season's harvest, but it occurred only once in history...during a good run when escapements were met and restrictions liberalized...and when there were no restrictions on retention of Kings during dipnetting. This year ADFG reports the run to be "well below average" and "similar to runs in 2009 and 2010". Again, according to ADFG the average King harvest over the entire personal use season is about 850 Kings. With only 8 days left in the season, your assumption that "real savings" will happen is a joke...especially given the gauntlet of thousands of sportfishing lines in the water above the Ames bridge that awaits them.

    Your "conservative" assessment of what will happen in the commercial fishery is fluff. One would have to ignorantly assume those Kings will be available to catch in the first place, and that historical run timing will somehow shift to accomodate your assumptions. Not to mention that to date the commercial harvest is already well below the 10-year average by several thousand. And even if the commercial fishery could put more Kings in the River, chances are that would simply increase sportfishing harvest and exacerbate higher in-river exploitation, not necessarily leave more escapement.

    While fishing "conditions" might be excellent, the run is not. King fishing has been poor, particularly in context to the effort and number of lines in the water. Only a new-comer, or someone who doesn't know any different, would be elated about the harvest numbers. Nerka has been here for 40 years. He doesn't need to be in town to know what shape the run is in.

    commfish, the result of this "real savings" you tout and defend is exemplified in the very condition of the River and the type of King runs we now face today. The run has been in poor shape, way below average, all year. Plus we have been experiencing a declining trend in the quality of this fishery, with fewer, smaller fish. The political, economic, special interest patsy management has been born out. The proof is in the pudding. A no bait restriction with a week left in the season is an empty, insincere effort that prioritizes economic sportfishing pressure over conservation of the resource. A political pacifier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    So then, do the upper Kenai sockeye goals trump the lower Kenai king goals in a year like this?
    Yep.... always have, always will.... until it no longer does.... a day we would all rejoice if/when it ever comes.

    Of course a more selective harvest paradigm would allow both fisheries to operate in a manner that consistently delivers the highest and best use of the resource to the respective user groups.

    The MSY mantra is nothing more that a construct to keep the commercial sockeye fishery stable/predictable. Is it really too much to ask for some stability/predictability for the inriver chinook fishery?
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    Cool Mystery fishery . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    . . . a more selective harvest paradigm would allow both fisheries to operate in a manner that consistently delivers the highest and best use of the resource to the respective user groups. . .
    Doc, you keep alluding mysteriously to—no specifics—a so-called, more selective, harvest paradigm, but what is it? How do you do that? Are you suggesting fish traps again? Beach seines? What? . .

    Second, are you implying that the "highest" and "best" use of second-runs kings is a catch-and-release/trophy retention/fishNaddiction fishery? . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Yep.... always have, always will.... until it no longer does.... a day we would all rejoice if/when it ever comes.

    Of course a more selective harvest paradigm would allow both fisheries to operate in a manner that consistently delivers the highest and best use of the resource to the respective user groups.

    The MSY mantra is nothing more that a construct to keep the commercial sockeye fishery stable/predictable. Is it really too much to ask for some stability/predictability for the inriver chinook fishery?
    None of that makes sense considering the poor condition of the first run, which basically is not even fished by the commercial sockeye fishery. The sportfishermen have that run all to themselves, and they still can't make escapement. Not to mention dipnetters have been restricted from retaining Kings. I mean how much more selective could it be! As for the best use of the resource to the respective user groups...Come on doc...even on a poor year the River is plugged with boats to a point it is almost impossible to navigate the lines and 5-foot waves...And you want to increase sportfishing exploitation?

    Doc, echoing Marcus, I have asked you the same question, which you mysteriously avoid. You keep preaching about some "selective harvest paradigm" as the answer, even referencing what Washington does, whatever that is. So what exactly are you talking about, and why would you not want to explain something so pertinent and groundbreaking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Yep.... always have, always will.... until it no longer does.... a day we would all rejoice if/when it ever comes.

    Of course a more selective harvest paradigm would allow both fisheries to operate in a manner that consistently delivers the highest and best use of the resource to the respective user groups.

    The MSY mantra is nothing more that a construct to keep the commercial sockeye fishery stable/predictable. Is it really too much to ask for some stability/predictability for the inriver chinook fishery?
    Doc you have this totally backwards. First the late run chinook have a BEG while the sockeye have an SEG - not MSY management. Second the total sockeye fishery closes when the chinook goal is not met so chinook do trump sockeye relative to goals. Finally the windows and other restrictions increases the probability that the sockeye goal will be exceeded. All of these put sockeye management below other social and biological goals. What you appear to be saying is you want no sockeye goals and all the chinook or a complete social upset of traditional fisheries. Not likely. The issue is really what the counts mean and so far they do not mean much. My point is if the run is really below the goal then action should have been taken earlier. The reason is was not appears to be the uncertainity in the counts

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Finally the windows and other restrictions increases the probability that the sockeye goal will be exceeded.
    I'm not sure that this one is entirely accurate. The commissioner has authority and has regularly exercised it to set aside the windows in order to limit escapements within the goals. The umbrella management plan was revised a couple of Board meetings ago to make the goals the highest priority. Also in years like this one with big runs, it was the processor capacity rather than the windows that proved limiting at the peak of the run. Yes there were windows this year but the processors were already buried and fishers were operating with catch limits.

    But then why quibble on a year like this one? Plenty of Kenai sockeye to go around for drifters, set netters, PU & sporties. Good fish prices. Consistent in-river opportunity. Fish on!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    I'm not sure that this one is entirely accurate. The commissioner has authority and has regularly exercised it to set aside the windows in order to limit escapements within the goals. The umbrella management plan was revised a couple of Board meetings ago to make the goals the highest priority. Also in years like this one with big runs, it was the processor capacity rather than the windows that proved limiting at the peak of the run. Yes there were windows this year but the processors were already buried and fishers were operating with catch limits.

    But then why quibble on a year like this one? Plenty of Kenai sockeye to go around for drifters, set netters, PU & sporties. Good fish prices. Consistent in-river opportunity. Fish on!
    Your post, Bfish, illustrates, for me anyway, a conundrum. Here we have two "experts," yourself and Nerka, in disagreement. Both of you, I should imagine, are "scientists" after some definition or other, but one of you is a paid consultant to KRSA and the other a past ADFG commfish biologist. Where's the much-touted "scientific consensus"? . .

    My problem, and maybe it's a problem for others as well, is how to tell which of you is right when you disagree as in your quote above. Both of you, I imagine, claim to have "science" on your side . . what's a poor layman to do?

    From where I sit, it's time to fall back on the old aphorism, "Figures don't lie, but liars figure." Nor am I accusing either you or Nerka of being liars . . am only saying that "scientific" figures can be manipulated in terms of self-interest. Or, better yet, maybe one's self-interest defines the so-called "science."?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    Doc, echoing Marcus, I have asked you the same question, which you mysteriously avoid. You keep preaching about some "selective harvest paradigm" as the answer, even referencing what Washington does, whatever that is. So what exactly are you talking about, and why would you not want to explain something so pertinent and groundbreaking?
    Here's a start....

    http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/commercial/selective/

    Bottom line, sustainable mixed stock fisheries must be grounded in LIVE capture methods that pernits the unharmed release of non-target stocks. This allows maximal exploitation of strong stocks without jeopardizing the weak ones.

    Much more going on this arena than what is posted on the WDFW website. 2 years of pilot testing done (2009-2010), one to go (2011) with intentions of going full fleet as early as the 2012 season. Will post some vids of the WDFW project when they are available.

    In the meantime, have a look at what's going on further upriver with the Colville Confederated Tribes.... selective seining of sockeye and hatchery chinook.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir8QiLqPhjY
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