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Thread: Kenai River late run jack chinook issue

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    Default Kenai River late run jack chinook issue

    Kenai River Sport Fishing Association stated the following in a letter to the Board of Fish about late run chinook salmon - " Current restrictions on the harvest of jack salmon do not allow a harvest of this size and age class proportional to abundance and is therefore unnessarily limiting harvest opportunity."

    I want to use this as an example of how people can see things in the river but not understand the complexity of fishery management. What KRSA did was just look at the in-river harvest and indeed jacks appear to be underharvested - if one just looks at the sport fish data.

    However, what KRSA failed to do (they have biological consultants so I am wondering if they used them), is to reconstruct the return with all harvest which includes the commercial fishery.

    KAFC biologist did reconstruct the run while ADF&G biologist did it independent of KAFC and came up with the same results. The statement above is not true. KRSA did not take into consideration the commercial harvest which tends to target 1.2 chinook ( size of these fish are perfect for the gear). Some years the commercial harvest of 1.2 chinook is near 50% of the harvest.

    Here are the data on harvest in proportion to abundance using all harvest data -

    1. From 1986-2005 the average percent of 1.2 late run chinook in the total return is 13% - the percent in the harvest is 14%.

    2. For the last 5 years it breaks down like this (I just used 5 years because of space limitations). 2001 - 17 Total Return 21 Harvest; 2002 - 20 TR 22 TH; 2003- 37 TR 35TH; 2004 17 TR 19 TH; and 2005 13 TR 17 TH.

    So in fact ADF&G management of the stock is in proportion to harvest. I might add that this holds for all the other age classes. The combination of the commercial fishery and sport fishery provide an almost perfect management plan for harvesting in proportion to abundance.

    This is why data are so important for these discussions. Perception is not reality sometimes and this is a perfect example.

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    I see where you and KRSA are coming from. In my on river observations sometime in the first week or two of July we get a bunch of what I assume are 2-ocean "jacks" in the 15lb. range. They are all "cookie" cutter fish and I am pretty sure they are under 28". This size is considered a "jack" in other parts of the State, such as the SE and I believe the Nush.

    Isn't their proposal to up the Jack size from 20" to 28" so there can be some harvest of this size fish?

    I don't have the data but I am pretty sure it would be easy to get, but I would assume that only a portion of the 1.2 kings are in this under 28" range and the 1.2 kings that are being harvested in the sport fishery are larger, perhaps 30 to 33 inch fish. I do wish there was a way to keep one of these smaller under 28") "footballs" without counting it toward ones 2 fish limit.

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    Is this what is called "runt rage" on the river?

    As a picture is worth 1,000 words, do you have a graphic that illustrates the point?

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    Unhappy Nasty nicknames. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by 375JDJ View Post
    Is this what is called "runt rage" on the river?

    Never heard that, but I have heard jacks called "rats" by those in quest of the giant "hawgs" and "she-pigs."


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    Question More "opportunity"? More risk?

    Isn't their proposal to up the Jack size from 20" to 28" so there can be some harvest of this size fish?
    But, but . . . wouldn't such a proposal allow anglers to then retain 28" kings—now designated "jacks"—and still keep on fishing, thus creating even more "opportunity" to put the much-lamented, already-threatened stocks at additional risk? There's nothing preventing harvest of 28" fish at present is there except perhaps a desire to keep on fishing?

    Would fNp's "true sportsmen" support such a proposal?

    Sounds to me like a pretty transparent effort for more "opportunity." Or am I missing something?

    Where does it end?


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    Default Jacks

    Nerka, does the same thing hold true in the early run?

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    Marcus, what research and data is there to support a "threatened" stock, and which stock is it?

    What is your opinion of KRSA and what it is trying to do with this proposal?

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    Marcus, what research and data is there to support a "threatened" stock, and which stock is it?
    It's the fish fNp is so concerned about.

    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    What is your opinion of KRSA and what it is trying to do with this proposal?
    It's my opinion that KRSA is an organization that supports sportfishing.

    I think that the notion that "Current restrictions on the harvest of jack salmon do not allow a harvest of this size and age class proportional to abundance and is therefore unnessarily limiting harvest opportunity" is mistaken for the reasons cited by Nerka.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    does the same thing hold true in the early run?

    No , because the ER is largely unexploited by the commercial fishery until the last week in June.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    Default there is a harvest on these fish.

    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    I see where you and KRSA are coming from. In my on river observations sometime in the first week or two of July we get a bunch of what I assume are 2-ocean "jacks" in the 15lb. range. They are all "cookie" cutter fish and I am pretty sure they are under 28". This size is considered a "jack" in other parts of the State, such as the SE and I believe the Nush.

    Isn't their proposal to up the Jack size from 20" to 28" so there can be some harvest of this size fish?

    I don't have the data but I am pretty sure it would be easy to get, but I would assume that only a portion of the 1.2 kings are in this under 28" range and the 1.2 kings that are being harvested in the sport fishery are larger, perhaps 30 to 33 inch fish. I do wish there was a way to keep one of these smaller under 28") "footballs" without counting it toward ones 2 fish limit.
    Yukon, there is a harvest on these fish and it is right were it should be - that is the point. I really dislike the term jacks and but used it in the title because it is common useage. However, I prefer to use the actual age of fish we are talking about - 1.2 - this means one year in freshwater and two in the ocean. They are four year old fish from time of spawning.

    My point was and still is that the data do not support any additional harvest on this age class because of them not being exploited in the fisheries in proportion to abundance.

    Also, these fish serve a biological purpose and should be treated just like the other age classes in management.

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    Also, these fish serve a biological purpose
    I am interested to hear what biological purpose jack's serve? I am curious because I do not know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    But, but . . . wouldn't such a proposal allow anglers to then retain 28" kings—now designated "jacks"—and still keep on fishing, thus creating even more "opportunity" to put the much-lamented, already-threatened stocks at additional risk? There's nothing preventing harvest of 28" fish at present is there except perhaps a desire to keep on fishing?

    Would fNp's "true sportsmen" support such a proposal?

    Sounds to me like a pretty transparent effort for more "opportunity." Or am I missing something?

    Where does it end?
    Personally, these "jacks" are the kings I prefer to tag for the table. Over the past eight years, I've personally tagged perhaps two non-jacks on the back of my license.

    Whether or not "true sportsmen" would support this proposal really depends on the health of the late run stock. From the rumblings within ADFG, the run is so healthy that we need to find a way to harvest another couple thousand fish every season.



    It's hard to imagine putting any more boats on the water in July than what we have now, so there is serious talk of increasing bag limits to better allow the existing fleet to consistently crop returns down to BEG.

    How the details play out is anyone's guess... and there are certainly plenty of options. Create a separate bag for jacks? Increase the existing daily bag to 2 per day with only one over "x" inches? Keep same daily bag but increase the annual limit? Exclude counting jacks in the annual limit?

    At this time, I really don't have strong feelings about how they go about increasing LR exploitation along those lines except that they include solid provisions to protect large ER mainstem spawners in July.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Gremlin View Post
    I am interested to hear what biological purpose jack's serve? I am curious because I do not know.

    These are sexually mature fish that do indeed spawn. Although they are viewed as "second class" by many anglers, they are an important piece of the complete genetic diversity of LR Kenai kings, and thus make an important contribution to the long term viability of the stock thru all manner of environmental changes over time.

    Part of a salmon's life history is that the same brood returns to spawn at different ages. This serves as an insurance policy against natural disasters... literally to avoid placing all the proverbial eggs in one basket. If floods wiped out the redds of 3-o fish and their 4-o siblings in two successive returns, the 2-o siblings that preceded them would carry on the genetic legacy of the original brood... without those 2-o's, the original brood would have been unable to perpetuate its genetic fitness. And although it seems counterintuitive, their progeny wouldn't all necessarily come back as 2-o fish.

    Another natural example is that smaller 2-o fish by virtue of their size have the ability to colonize other habitats that bigger fish may not have access to. That helps to expand the spawning habitat available to the entire return.

    An un-natural example would be that smaller fish act as a reservoir or harvest buffer for guys like me to tag so that we wouldn't have to bonk a big one.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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  14. #14

    Default early run jacks?

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    No , because the ER is largely unexploited by the commercial fishery until the last week in June.
    So then let me see if I'm following here. If the smaller fish in the early run are currently more likely to be released compared to the medium fish that are more likely to get the wood, and there is no equalizing harvest of small early run Kings in the commercial fishery, and the percentage of jacks (er I mean 1.2 fish, sorry nerka) in the early run is increasing, isn't that just as bad for genetics as the percentage of large fish decreasing, and doesn't that mean it would be a good thing to encourage more harvest of the smaller early run fish in order to equalize the harvest rates?

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    Default Jacks and gender?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Yukon, there is a harvest on these fish and it is right were it should be - that is the point. I really dislike the term jacks and but used it in the title because it is common useage. However, I prefer to use the actual age of fish we are talking about - 1.2 - this means one year in freshwater and two in the ocean. They are four year old fish from time of spawning.

    My point was and still is that the data do not support any additional harvest on this age class because of them not being exploited in the fisheries in proportion to abundance.

    Also, these fish serve a biological purpose and should be treated just like the other age classes in management.

    Nerka, some of the scientific and non-scientific literature I've read in the past says the moniker "jack" came about because the vast majority of the age class are male. The same literature (I can't quote it as it was a long time ago; some was from WA Fish and Game I'm sure) said that there are normally enough non-jack males to spawn with adult females (non-jacks).

    Do you have access to anything current that sheds light on jack gender and ability of non-jacks to effectively ensure successful spawning?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 375JDJ View Post
    Is this what is called "runt rage" on the river?
    Never heard that, but I have heard jacks called "rats" by those in quest of the giant "hawgs" and "she-pigs."
    We all have our favorite nicknames for these fish, and I'm sure there are lots of variations, but these are the ones used in my boat. With few exceptions, these are loosely meant as terms of endearment... try not to take to many of them too seriously, OK?

    OFFICIAL fishNaddicted KENAI KING TAXOMONY:
    1. Megabucks... males over 55"
    2. Megahens... females over 48"
    3. Hawgs... males 44-55"
    4. She-pigs... females 44-48"
    5. Bucks... males 18-20# or better
    6. Hens.... females 18-20# or better
    7. ****** fish... "females" under 18-20#... funny how they ALWAYS have milt sacs in the belly
    8. DINKS... males under 18-20#, further subclassified as follows:


    • Jacks... double digit dinks... 10# or better.
    • Rats... single digit dinks... under 10#
    • Sub-taggable runts... dinks under 20"
    I guess if the they pass the 28" rule, I'll have to re-work that dink category a bit.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    Unhappy Priceless. . .

    OFFICIAL fishNaddicted KENAI KING TAXOMONY:
    1. Megabucks... males over 55"
    2. Megahens... females over 48"
    3. Hawgs... males 44-55"
    4. She-pigs... females 44-48"
    5. Bucks... males 18-20# or better
    6. Hens.... females 18-20# or better
    7. ****** fish... "females" under 18-20#... funny how they ALWAYS have milt sacs in the belly
    8. DINKS... males under 18-20#, further subclassified as follows:
    • Jacks... double digit dinks... 10# or better.
    • Rats... single digit dinks... under 10#
    • Sub-taggable runts... dinks under 20"
    Has this "fishNaddicted KENAI KING TAXONOMY" what fishing for Kenai kings has become?

    Priceless. . . .


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    I sure am glad there are people who post on this site who actually enjoy fishing ........in addition to the folks who just don't get it and enjoy telling us all about how much they despise us and our actions. I understand and share the Docs passions - for fishing, preserving the resource and just flat enjoying a day on the river. I don't often agree with his proposals but they come from a place of concern, interest and love of fishing. That being said, I think that each of us who participate in any activity have nicknames and verbal shorthand for various facets----I don't have as many terms as the Doc - sorta like the eskimos having 20 ro 30 names for snow - but I sure understand someone having them.

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    Cool Signs of the times?

    . . each of us . . . have nicknames and verbal shorthand . . .
    Oh, dear. . . what can be said to that except where are Haig-Brown, Robert Traver, Zane Grey, Ernest Hemingway, and Norman Maclean when we need them?

    The times, they are a-changin' . . .


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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Oh, dear. . . what can be said to that except where are Haig-Brown, Robert Traver, Zane Grey, Ernest Hemingway, and Norman Maclean when we need them?

    The times, they are a-changin' . . .

    I bet most of us who post regularly have read all of those guys. They are with us already, Marcus.

    And yep, nothing is permanent except change.

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