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Thread: So WHY are the setnets still fishing?

  1. #1
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default So WHY are the setnets still fishing?

    Someone had to do it.... may as well be me.

    As we have already demonstrated on the other thread, there is no imminent danger from sockeye "overescapement" (at least not at the magnitude of escapement the Kenai is currently experiencing) yet ADFG has not been bold enough to make that call that the BEG for LR kings will NOT be met for 2011. Just as it was probably NOT met in 2009 and 2010.

    Feast your eyes on this....

    Kenai River King Salmon Escapement
    Goal Predicted Not To Be Met
    For the First Time Ever, Yet East Side
    Set Net Fishery Remains Open

    Soldotna -- Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA) is extremely concerned that the lower end of the escapement goal range for late-run king salmon in the Kenai River will not be achieved. Today, the board of directors of the state's largest sportfishing organization unanimously approved a vote of no confidence in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) Commissioner Cora Campbell and fishery division directors.

    KRSA has urged the department to provide assurance that the lower limit of the spawning goal range (17,800 king salmon) be met, or take whatever management action necessary to bring the final number of late-run king salmon spawning in the Kenai River as close as possible to this minimum number.

    The obvious remaining "tool" is immediate closure of the East Side set net fishery. The commercial fishery has had a near record season, harvesting more than 5 million sockeye to-date.

    Beginning at 11 a.m. today, ADF&G authorized a 56-hour continuous fishing period for the commercial set nets at the mouth of the Kenai River.
    It is common knowledge that the department is struggling to count the number of king salmon entering the Kenai River. For this entire season they have been very guarded in the manner in which they have described abundance, but management actions are being implemented based on department assessments.

    In the absence of a precise estimate of king salmon abundance provided by ADF&G, KRSA fisheries staff uses the raw data found on the department website and in discussions with department personnel to do our own calculation. Using what the department calls the "net apportioned estimate" and subtracting out the sport harvest KRSA estimates a spawning population of approximately 11-12,000 fish, well below the minimum escapement level, and an unacceptable outcome.

    KRSA sees only two obvious courses of action. These are:
    1) Either assure the public that the lower end of the escapement goal range for late-run king salmon will be achieved, then finish the set net fishery according to the management plan; or
    2) Close the set net fishery immediately, in an effort to come as close as possible to achieving the king salmon goal.

    "At the end of the day, the fish come first. At the expense of kings, the department is going full speed to harvest the tail end of the sockeye run. It is a sad day when we see the department of Fish and Game prioritize greed over conservation. When that happens, it is a wakeup call for anyone who cares about fishery conservation," said Eldon Mulder, KRSA board chair.

    Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA) is a 501 (c) 3 charitable non-profit, fishery conservation organization of sport anglers, conservationists and others whose primary goal is to preserve and improve salmon habitat while promoting responsible sportfishing on the Kenai River. Learn more at www.kenairiversportfishing.com.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

  2. #2

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    YAHOO...Not limited to the two "obivious choices" cited in the letter...You Always Have Other Options

    Don't mess around with the Kenai Comm Fish Crew....Talk to the guy in the Black Robe...He'll at least listen.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  3. #3

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    IT has been suspected for some time that the chinook return was lagging. What in river protection measures were endorsedby krsa? And please don't mention no bait, I dont want to hear b.s.

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    The first run didn't meet goals...and the east side set netters don't even fish it. Yet I don't see KRSA urging the department to close it to sportfishing. They just keep hammering it. KRSA's "conservation" concerns are a facade...the gig is up...actions speak louder than words.

    Latest totals show the net apportioned sonar estimate was 17,622 five days ago with approx 3% of the run remaining. I suspect the remaining 178 Kings needed will, or already have, entered. We will know mid-August when the final is out. I hope ADFG issued the commerical EO with confidence King escapements would be met. It wasn't pretty, but if ADFG does meet King escapement KRSA will owe ADFG Commissioner Campbell a public apology, and perhaps kudos for juggling this complex mixed-stock fishery during a year of a huge sockeye anomalie...virtually an impossible job.

    What's really ironic is KRSA protested no-bait conservation measures that simply took the sardine off their K-16...while other users (dipnetters) were completely restricted from keeping a King at all.

    Look what's happened to the River on KRSA's watch...their political-economic influence on management (like this article) has taken it's toll. And it won't end until KRSA exterminates the commercial fishery, the dipnet fishery, and private sportfishermen.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    Latest totals show the net apportioned sonar estimate was 17,622 five days ago with approx 3% of the run remaining. I suspect the remaining 178 Kings needed will, or already have, entered. We will know mid-August when the final is out.
    Grampy-

    The net-apportioned king salmon sonar estimate has to have sport harvest upstream of the sonar subtracted from it before escapement numbers are determined. Given the sport harvest of king salmon plus catch and release mortality are somehwere around 6,000 fish, it is clear the minimum escapement of 17,800 fish using this estimator was not met. Add onto that some of the other sonar estimates are in the same ballpark, the department dropped the ball on this run. I'm confused given they told the BOF in February they were going to manage this run conservitively. Guess the sockeye fishery trumps again.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Papi View Post
    Grampy-

    The net-apportioned king salmon sonar estimate has to have sport harvest upstream of the sonar subtracted from it before escapement numbers are determined. Given the sport harvest of king salmon plus catch and release mortality are somehwere around 6,000 fish, it is clear the minimum escapement of 17,800 fish using this estimator was not met. Add onto that some of the other sonar estimates are in the same ballpark, the department dropped the ball on this run. I'm confused given they told the BOF in February they were going to manage this run conservitively. Guess the sockeye fishery trumps again.
    In other words....they should have closed this run. Wait till next year....it ain't looking good.

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    Sorry but this is the only way to tell Grampyfishes his mailbox is full and therefore one cannot send him a PM.

    Relative to KRSA vote of no confidence I find that just funny. They pushed and defended Cora hard. One reaps what one plants.

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    "Today, the board of directors of the state's largest sportfishing organization unanimously approved a vote of no confidence in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) Commissioner Cora Campbell and fishery division directors."

    KRSA 2010-2011 Board of Directors

    Eldon Mulder, Board Chair
    Owner, The Mulder Company


    Ron Rainey, Vice Chair
    Retired - Ron's Alaska Lodge


    Kevin Branson, Secretary/Treasurer
    CPA, Thomas, Head & Greisen


    Jim Golden, Vice President
    Owner, The Sports Den


    Rik Bucy
    Retired - General Manager, Tesoro Northstores

    Bill Eckhardt

    President, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union

    Richard Erkeneff
    Owner, Kenai River Raven


    Mike Felix
    President, AT&T Alaska


    Mark Hamilton
    President, University of Alaska


    Reuben Hanke
    Owner, Harry Gaines Kenai River Fishing


    Bill MacKay
    Sr. VP, Alaska Airlines


    Jason Paret
    CFO, Central Peninsula Hospital


    Robert Penney
    Owner, PENCO Properties


    Karen Rey
    RN-ANS, Territory Manager, Alaska


    Gary Turner
    Director, Kenai Peninsula College


    Kristin Mellinger
    EVP/CFO, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation

    Gene Diamond
    Sales Manager, Specialty Imports

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Papi View Post
    In other words....they should have closed this run. Wait till next year....it ain't looking good.
    That was my point...I should've been clearer. The 17,800+ were (or will be) put in the river.

    What happened after that was the KRSA faction killed 6,500 of them. It's a recreational fishery for Pete's sake. Catch and release would've kept both the sport and commercial fisheries open. But when KRSA's powerful political-economic pressure influences the decision making process with emotional protests, articles, etc. over a simple "no bait" restriction, how in the heck is management going to restrict us to catch and release? Contrary to the article, we should be asking for the heads of KRSA's leaders.

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    Just a few years ago KRSA endorsed lowering the early run kenai king escapement BEG to 5,300, where before I think it was 9,000 all in order to reach the goal faster so they could fish with bait faster. It had nothing to do with biological reasons. It's funny they endorse the mandatory window closures on setnetters and the 1 percent rule, but yet they haven't drawn up any windows for sportfishing. Residents can king fish 7 days a week and guides can fish the kenai 6 days a week. As a setnetter I'm already preparing myself for another weekly window so we can only fish 4 days a week maximum. In the worst they might even get it so when they get restricted to no bait setnetters can only fish 3 days a week or some crap like that. They wont stop until they kill the kenai river. Or maybe KRSA will buy all the cook inlet setnetters drift boats so that way not as many of their precious kings will be caught. But then the susitna sockeye will get hammered harder so then drift boats will get closed early for that. Cook Inlet fisheries is a mess right now and the outlook doesn't look better.

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    Cool Water's getting hotter . .

    Quote Originally Posted by 33outdoorsman View Post
    Just a few years ago KRSA endorsed lowering the early run kenai king escapement BEG to 5,300, where before I think it was 9,000 all in order to reach the goal faster so they could fish with bait faster. It had nothing to do with biological reasons. It's funny they endorse the mandatory window closures on setnetters and the 1 percent rule, but yet they haven't drawn up any windows for sportfishing. Residents can king fish 7 days a week and guides can fish the kenai 6 days a week. As a setnetter I'm already preparing myself for another weekly window so we can only fish 4 days a week maximum. In the worst they might even get it so when they get restricted to no bait setnetters can only fish 3 days a week or some crap like that. They wont stop until they kill the kenai river. Or maybe KRSA will buy all the cook inlet setnetters drift boats so that way not as many of their precious kings will be caught. But then the susitna sockeye will get hammered harder so then drift boats will get closed early for that. Cook Inlet fisheries is a mess right now and the outlook doesn't look better.
    Well said, outdoorsman, and very true. More "opportunity" for the Penny/KRSA faction and less for everyone else.

    I have a question for you: How much less harvest "opportunity" can the gill-net industry absorb and still remain a viable, contributing factor in our area's economic base?

    In the end, I fear you're right, "[The Penny/KRSA faction] won't stop until they kill the Kenai River." They're like the proverbial frog, boiled to death in a pan of slowly heated water. The Kenai king fishery is collapsing in front of their very eyes, yet all they want is to turn up the heat.

    Pathetic . . . . one would hope wiser heads would prevail, but I'm not counting on it.

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    ADF&G just closed the commercial fishery tonight at 11 PM. This is without any new information on Chinook salmon and not complete fishing periods to define the 1% rule. Whether one is on one side or the other all users should be very concerned about the political decision making on Alaska resources. The Commissioner of ADF&G has just compromised the integrity of the Department for all areas of the State. The message, if you have enough political clout you can close a fishery. That is a sobering thought.

    I wanted to look at the data on how decisions were made this year and that is more disturbing. Here is the data posted as of August 2nd.

    CELSD sonar counts from 2008 to present - 22.2, 14.7,22.0 and for 2011 32.1; the CNAS which is apportioned sonar for the same period 33.0, 16.7,11.0, and for 2011 17.6 (this is the one KRSA is using), and finally the eastside set net fishery 6.9,5.1, 5.9, and for 2011 6.2.

    Look at the spread in this data set - little over 2x for the CELSD, 3X for the apportioned sonar, and only about 0.2X for the catch. It appears that the commercial catch data would indicate that this return is fairly similar to the last three. Interesting that in 2010 when the apportioned count was only 11.0 that KRSA was not yelling for a closure in mid-season. After all using their rationale the final escapement would be about 5.0k. In contrast, the fishery has been managed for years on the sonar and that estimate shows the highest value. ADF&G indicated that on August 2nd the run was 96% complete. Today it is even more complete and the sonar is being pulled tonight from what I understand. There will be no measure of how many fish this action put in the river.

    With all the discussion of sockeye models on this forum the above is the real issue. While we may argue about sockeye models the fact is that the models will provide for harvest able surplus. In contrast, the above problem is one that could lead and may have led to reduced Chinook returns in the Kenai. While I tend to disagree with KRSA methods and political power usage --ADF&G sport fish division to manage Kenai Chinook provides for a lack of confidence. It will not come from KRSA political agenda it will only come when ADF&G does some soul searching and provide a new culture of resource protection and one that starts long term research on how Chinook are produced in the Kenai.

    What is really interesting here is that the major fishing organizations of the State - KRSA, UCIDA, and UFA will probably all be agreement that they have no confidence in this Commissioner, Directors, and staff after today's decision. Sad state of affairs.

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    Cool Surprise? . . Not!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    . . Whether one is on one side or the other all users should be very concerned about the political decision making on Alaska resources. . . The message, if you have enough political clout you can close a fishery. That is a sobering thought. . .

    With all the discussion of sockeye models on this forum the above is the real issue. While we may argue about sockeye models the fact is that the models will provide for harvest able surplus. . .
    Scientific models can give us the sideboards that define harvestable surplus. Sociology and economics always have and always will decide how that harvestable surplus is allocated.

    Nothing new under the sun . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Scientific models can give us the sideboards that define harvestable surplus. Sociology and economics always have and always will decide how that harvestable surplus is allocated.

    Nothing new under the sun . . .
    Marcus, you missed the point. The justification for the closure is biological not allocative. It may be using biology to get to an allocation agenda but that is what is sad. Sorry you missed that in your rush to state that my post was nothing new. In fact it is. This is the first time in UCI where a Commissioner has reversed an Emergency Order during the fishing time of the emergency order. So this is new- believe it or not.

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    I am so glad that fish and game finally restricted the ONLY user group still fishing on an underescaped King run that will miss escapement by thousands of fish (when subtracting sport catch from net apportioned). On a 5 million fish year it is only greed that keeps the nets fishing for the handful of reds remaining. Finally the sportfishing industry that drives the peninsula economy, as opposed to the "free-loaders", has a organization like KRSA that will advocate the sportfishing cause. The emergency BOF meeting tomorrow should hopefully show our local F&G office that their "mistake" with the corridor language and mismanagment of the Mainstem Kenai Kings are unexceptable for the future health of this great sportfishery. One that will, need a drastic overhaul (commercial/sport) if it is to survive our greed.

  16. #16

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    I think this was a good decision by F&G. It corrects a poor decision to have continous fishing and attempting to squeak in a third day of fishing when everyone knew there were only two days left based upon the 1% rule. There is no reason to continue to allow fishing when F&G can obtain catch reports and determine that the harvest will not be greater than 1%.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by CWURDT View Post
    I am so glad that fish and game finally restricted the ONLY user group still fishing on an underescaped King run that will miss escapement by thousands of fish (when subtracting sport catch from net apportioned). On a 5 million fish year it is only greed that keeps the nets fishing for the handful of reds remaining. Finally the sportfishing industry that drives the peninsula economy, as opposed to the "free-loaders", has a organization like KRSA that will advocate the sportfishing cause. The emergency BOF meeting tomorrow should hopefully show our local F&G office that their "mistake" with the corridor language and mismanagment of the Mainstem Kenai Kings are unexceptable for the future health of this great sportfishery. One that will, need a drastic overhaul (commercial/sport) if it is to survive our greed.
    And just who are you referring to as freeloaders?

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    KRSA 2010-2011 Board of Directors


    Eldon Mulder, Board Chair
    Owner, The Mulder Company


    Ron Rainey, Vice Chair
    Retired - Ron's Alaska Lodge


    Kevin Branson, Secretary/Treasurer
    CPA, Thomas, Head & Greisen


    Jim Golden, Vice President
    Owner, The Sports Den


    Rik Bucy
    Retired - General Manager, Tesoro Northstores

    Bill Eckhardt

    President, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union

    Richard Erkeneff
    Owner, Kenai River Raven


    Mike Felix
    President, AT&T Alaska


    Mark Hamilton
    President, University of Alaska


    Reuben Hanke
    Owner, Harry Gaines Kenai River Fishing


    Bill MacKay
    Sr. VP, Alaska Airlines


    Jason Paret
    CFO, Central Peninsula Hospital


    Robert Penney
    Owner, PENCO Properties


    Karen Rey
    RN-ANS, Territory Manager, Alaska


    Gary Turner
    Director, Kenai Peninsula College


    Kristin Mellinger
    EVP/CFO, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation

    Gene Diamond
    Sales Manager, Specialty Imports
    and of the above, I only do business with Alaska airlines and c.p.h if I have to.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWURDT View Post
    I am so glad that fish and game finally restricted the ONLY user group still fishing on an underescaped King run that will miss escapement by thousands of fish (when subtracting sport catch from net apportioned). On a 5 million fish year it is only greed that keeps the nets fishing for the handful of reds remaining. Finally the sportfishing industry that drives the peninsula economy, as opposed to the "free-loaders", has a organization like KRSA that will advocate the sportfishing cause. The emergency BOF meeting tomorrow should hopefully show our local F&G office that their "mistake" with the corridor language and mismanagment of the Mainstem Kenai Kings are unexceptable for the future health of this great sportfishery. One that will, need a drastic overhaul (commercial/sport) if it is to survive our greed.
    CWURDT, sportfishermen were the only user group fishing the underescaped early-run Kings. They also continued to retain Kings when all early indicators showed underescapement on the second run. They even protested simple bait restrictions. And of course, they are still fishing our underescaped Kings...every time they hook one while Rainbow fishing...pulling it off it's redd and playing it out, never to find it again.

    Greed did not keep the commercial nets fishing. The Management Plan and the Commissioner's decisions did. Even if all the commercial-caught Kings had been allowed to enter the River, they would've just been exploited by the zillions of sportfishermen anyway. Catch and release (which I hate on Kings) would've at least kept both fisheries open, still provided the recreational entertainment sportfishermen want, and helped meet goals. All the indicators were there.

    You say the sportfishing industry drives the economy?...more like the economy drives the sportfishery INTO THE GROUND. Economic pressure has caused the King sportfishery to imploded on itself, leaving the future of our economy at risk. KRSA has advocated the "sportfishing cause" to the detriment of other users, the resource, and the exact economy they push. Wake up. It is no wonder our management is floundering.

  20. #20
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    Thank you ADFG.

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/ho...f/65084756.pdf

    The Kenai River Late-Run King Salmon Management Plan directs the department to achieve the
    sustainable escapement goal (SEG) of 17,800 to 35,700 king salmon. Through August 6th, all
    indices used to assess the abundance of late-run king salmon in the Kenai River indicate a run that
    is well below average for the third consecutive year. Based on the similarities of the indices in 2011
    to these years, it is likely the escapement goal will not be achieved without passing the remaining
    Kenai River king salmon into the escapement.

    The estimated sockeye salmon harvest in the set gillnet fishery in the Kenai, Kasilof, and East
    Forelands Sections on Saturday, August 6, was less than 1% of the season total. It is likely that the
    harvest from today’s commercial fishing period, August 7, will also be less than 1%. This would
    be two consecutive period of less than 1%. Therefore, the closure of set gillnetting in the Kenai,
    Kasilof and East Forelands Sections is required by regulation.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

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