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Thread: Over escapement?

  1. #1
    Member fishingyoda's Avatar
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    Default Over escapement?

    I may sound ignorant but what bad happens if too many fish reach the spawning grounds? I understand the problem with too few just don't get the too many.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Imagine there is only enough food in the ecosystem for 2 fish with 2 fish returning you should have 2 healthy fish leaving the river.
    Add a third and now you have only 1 healthy fish and 2 weak ones who probably won't survive.
    Add a fourth and it gets even worse.
    I know it is a lot more scientifec than that and there are a lot of variables.
    I have seen creeks on Tustumena where there were so many reds spawning there was a perpetual wash of eggs and dying reds exiting the stream.
    The fish had no new room to spawn. They were knocking the eggs from other fish out to make their own spawning bed then laying there eggs. Only to have more fish come in and do the same.
    My understanding is that underescapement is better than a big overescapement.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Member fishingyoda's Avatar
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    Ok I understand the egg part but don't most salmon stop feeding in fresh water? Or is it mostly reds? Is the lack of food while there still in the salt?

  4. #4

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    No, the lack of food part is meant for the fry and smolt. If there are TOO many of them, there is not enough forage. There is more struggle to survive, they end up smaller and weaker resulting in a high mortality rate in the salt after they leave the river.

    AK Chappy

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Yeah I should have been more specific. The fry and Smolt would be short on food.
    Thanks AK_Chappy for clarifying that.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Member fishingyoda's Avatar
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    Thanks that makes a lot more sense.

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK_Chappy View Post
    No, the lack of food part is meant for the fry and smolt. If there are TOO many of them, there is not enough forage. There is more struggle to survive, they end up smaller and weaker resulting in a high mortality rate in the salt after they leave the river.

    AK Chappy
    Good point Ak Chappy. Another reason there is lack of forage due to over escapement is the carcasses create too much nitrogen which kills the zooplankton that the young sockeye depend on. It takes years to regenerate. The best management tool for salmon escapement is the drift gill net fleet, because it gives a preliminary model of run strength. The biologists can determine sex, age classes and final destination through scale samples. It makes no sense to have the fleet sit on the beach early in the run mainly cause it's a higher percentage of males. One problem w/ the current management is they like to stuff the creeks w/ males then when the females show up they extend bag limits and allow the dipper and the com fleets to fish willy-nilly If the run looks week then the fleet gets reigned in. In that case, regular micro openers should be mandatory to keep abreast of the run. Big slugs of fish entering the river are a detriment except to the hords of dippers that is. Politics have no place in salmon management, like I said the driftnet fleet is the best management tool, not sonars and fish counters





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    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    well said FB...........and from the looks of things, they are in big trouble. I was down there on saturday below skilak and I swear to god for about 15 min I saw a line of fish...........a contiguous line of fish. The bigger schools should have past there already.

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    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    The ugly thread of over escapement should have been into play from 2004 to 2007 but what do we have this year? A doubling of the escapement that even fish and game didn't see coming. The ugly head of over escapement is just a myth, as of today's numbers. The science needs to represent the actual, not the perceived!!!! Argue the numbers, not with me!!!!
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    This years numbers does not reflect the science behind those numbers. Some science if that science only serves one part of the equation, don't you think?
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    It is encouraging to see that folks from the Valley are begining to understand the problems and risks of overescapement. Now if we could just get the Penny led KRSFA and the KR Guides to understand overescapement, maybe we could get the Board of Fish to allow ADF&G to go back to biological management of the sockeye run. More intense harvest for the drift fleet should have begin sooner, however restrictive management plans would not allow.

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    Member salmon_bone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Lure View Post
    It is encouraging to see that folks from the Valley are begining to understand the problems and risks of overescapement. .
    Just how long ago did the valley rivers reach over escapement to create a problem?

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by salmon_bone View Post
    Just how long ago did the valley rivers reach over escapement to create a problem?
    salmon_bone the valley rivers have their own unique issues, the over escapement problems I think we're talking about in this discussion pertains mainly to sockeye streams. The pike and beaver situation coupled w/ major flooding IMO is the main detriment the valley streams are facing. I know nothing about the valley sockeye runs, but I do know Wasilla lake and Big Lake seem to have ample escapements each year, just from my observation I have no data to verify that however. All I know is, vilifying the CI commercial fleet isn't the answer. I'm also hearing more and more about how it now believed forest fires around sockeye rearing grounds is a good thing because of the nutrients from the fallout. They attribute the record 30 million fish run in the Frasier River in BC last year to forest fire fallout...anyway another discussion





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  14. #14

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    Just curious how the rivers did prior to commercial fishing. Commercial fishing is not NEEDED as some would have you believe. Nature has a way of working itself out. Sure there may have been low years along with high years but I honestly believe that over escapement is just an excuse to allow more harvest than really should be happening. The rivers produced strong consistent returns prior to our involvement in their management. Now we have rivers where there is fear that the run may disappear.

    The science never has really added up to me and some escapement goals seem way to low. I believe you could take the state projected escapement goal and double it before you run into any of the issues of nutrient stress on smolt and other problems.

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halibutk View Post
    Just curious how the rivers did prior to commercial fishing. Commercial fishing is not NEEDED as some would have you believe. Nature has a way of working itself out. Sure there may have been low years along with high years but I honestly believe that over escapement is just an excuse to allow more harvest than really should be happening. The rivers produced strong consistent returns prior to our involvement in their management. Now we have rivers where there is fear that the run may disappear.

    The science never has really added up to me and some escapement goals seem way to low. I believe you could take the state projected escapement goal and double it before you run into any of the issues of nutrient stress on smolt and other problems.
    Maybe you should volunteer your expertise and manage the fisheries correctly then. If the scientists extensive data and research don't add up why didn't you speak up earlier so we didn't waste all that time and effort? If com fishing is not needed then why did you let Carrs and Fred Meyer put in seafood markets? New Sagaya and 10th and M seafoods sure could have used a heads up before they wasted all those years building their businesses. Shoot if com-fishing was not needed why did you let everyone waste all the years building infrastructure in our coastal communities? You should have spoke up sooner. We appreciate it though better late than never i guess





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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by halibutk View Post
    Commercial fishing is not NEEDED as some would have you believe. Nature has a way of working itself out.
    Fullbush,

    I think all the poster is trying to say is that commfish is not needed to sustain the resource as nature has managed salmon for millions of years without our "help". There is no questioning that commfish intervention makes for a more consistent run as it reduces the boom/bust cycle that occurs on a truly natural system. I don't think the fish care about that though.....We on the other hand most certainly do - especially if you rely on the harvest of returning fish to make money, or need them to sustain life.

    There really isn't any point in arguing against his statement as if it were false the salmon would have long gone extinct. I'm not sure why you are even attempting to.....

  17. #17
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halibutk View Post
    Just curious how the rivers did prior to commercial fishing. Commercial fishing is not NEEDED as some would have you believe. Nature has a way of working itself out. Sure there may have been low years along with high years but I honestly believe that over escapement is just an excuse to allow more harvest than really should be happening. The rivers produced strong consistent returns prior to our involvement in their management. Now we have rivers where there is fear that the run may disappear.

    The science never has really added up to me and some escapement goals seem way to low. I believe you could take the state projected escapement goal and double it before you run into any of the issues of nutrient stress on smolt and other problems.
    If you talk to those who lived/fished here before statehood and managed fisheries most will tell you how it was. It was boom and bust with huge swings and total inconsistency.
    You could not base Tourism,dipnetting, sportfishing, or comm fishing as we know them today with swings like that.
    If we had fisheries managed like that some years they wouldn't care how many anyone caught other years even sport and personal use fisheries would be cut off way early.And you never know witch years would be witch until way too late.
    I'll take the managed fishery anyday.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    I'll take the managed fishery anyday.
    I completely agree.

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    Default old data?

    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    I'll take the managed fishery anyday.
    I don't have the numbers right in front of me (so I'm just going by memory) but I believe our current numbers are "off the charts" higher than escapements of old.

    Hey Gr8fl, you reading this? Got a chart/graph handy? ;-)

    Is there any estimates from any source for very long ago? (before F&G)

  20. #20
    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    With the escapement of 2004-2007, the numbers do not add up, PERIOD.
    We should be seeing a dip in sockeye, not a doubling of sockeye. Overescapement is a myth, get that... a myth. If overescapement was a true problem we would be in the tank with sockeye. Yet... we are not. Why? Cause over escapement is just a ploy to fish commercially longer. Quote what ever paper you want, the end result does not add up to a poor run, only a stronger one. Please, somebody quote me a scientific fact that adds up to a large run this summer? How about a poor run? How about an average run? What... No takers? Cause the science does not add up. I'm no scientist but I do know when my science is wrong. This is just that case. Come on guys, argue me a river!!!
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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