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Thread: Homer halibut derby change - no more focus on big fish

  1. #1
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Homer halibut derby change - no more focus on big fish

    According to this article in the Alaska Dispatch, the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby is changing the typical derby approach and will no longer be awarding the top cash prize to the largest fish. The article says that they're still working out details - there will probably be higher dollar value tagged fish and some random drawings - but they're committed to changing the model that rewards killing the largest breeding females.

    Well done, Homer Chamber of Commerce. I, for one, am glad to see this change.

  2. #2
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Yes it is about time!
    Time for us sportsmen/women to step up to the plate and be more responsible. Not that I keep any big fish anyway or catch them for that matter.
    But now there is even more reasons to let the big ones pass on those genes a few more years.
    I kinda liked the July 4th Derby they had a few years back that was fish closest to 100# was the goal. But it could be any Target weight that they choose.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    Member Mark Collett's Avatar
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    That'll be the best thing the Homer Chamber of Commerce has ever done .Congradulations on seeing the light.

    Let's hope the public will agree that this is the right thing to do..........cause it is.

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    Now all we have to do it get all the canneries not to buy any halibut over 100lbs.

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    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    Good move, I was happy when I read that yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do a tagged fish deal, more better
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    While I think that participation in the derby will drop significantly, it will be interesting to see what they come up with. The closest to 100 lbs. (or any weight) might be a good idea that would work. I don't think even highly valuable tagged fish will bring the same participation as past years. It is pretty cool to see those big fish hanging on the scale, but I have to agree that this is the right thing to do for the future of the fishery. Good job, Homer Chamber of Commerce.

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Yes, it is a good thing but kind of boring. The largest fish thing is pretty easy for everyone to understand. I bet the derby people will be nervous to what this will do to participation. Personally I don't buy tickets but I may if the goal was a target weight like 100 lbs where it would be something I wanted to keep.
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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    So little halibut don't spawn? How big do they have to be before they have the ability to reproduce? One more thing, How old is a halibut when it becomes mature enough to spawn? Thanks...





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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwm907 View Post
    While I think that participation in the derby will drop significantly,
    It might, but I think there might also be a lot of people (like jrogers above) who will start buying tickets now that it's not a big fish derby. The only halibut fishing I've ever done out of Homer has been within a short ride of the spit, and I know that in a chicken patch that I have basically zero chance of hooking into a derby winner, so I've never bothered buying a ticket. Under the new system, though, I could foresee buying a ticket on that off chance that I could hook into something worth some serious coin. Likewise, folks like my in-laws who go on the half-day chicken charters might be more inclined to buy tickets in the future whereas they never have in the past.

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    So little halibut don't spawn? How big do they have to be before they have the ability to reproduce? One more thing, How old is a halibut when it becomes mature enough to spawn? Thanks...
    age 8 is currently thought to be the mature age when North Pacific Halibut can reproduce... Which is estimated to be somewhere in the 30 lb range...

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Kudos to the board for the proposed changes...seems like they are moving in the right direction for the fish's sake.
    BK

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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Thats great news and long overdue! I echo the canneries not buying halibut over 100 pounds or if they do, make it a price not worth to target them!!!

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    It might, but I think there might also be a lot of people (like jrogers above) who will start buying tickets now that it's not a big fish derby. The only halibut fishing I've ever done out of Homer has been within a short ride of the spit, and I know that in a chicken patch that I have basically zero chance of hooking into a derby winner, so I've never bothered buying a ticket. Under the new system, though, I could foresee buying a ticket on that off chance that I could hook into something worth some serious coin. Likewise, folks like my in-laws who go on the half-day chicken charters might be more inclined to buy tickets in the future whereas they never have in the past.
    Brian
    those LCCR's (Last Chance Chicken Ranch) are where the majority of the fish are caught and tagged in mid April...!!!
    the main reasons being, not too many larger fish have started working their way back up into Cook Inlet yet and it would take too much time/fuel to do any serious hunting for schools of large fish to tag.. You don't really want to wrestle a large halibut just to tag it, plus, those chickens have a tendency to stick around and not migrate too far which really gives the derby participants better chances at catching some... I have to agree with cwm907... Where as the Homer CofC is to be congratulated for their efforts of conservation... it's a drop in the bucket compared to the large fish the Commercial fleet will go after... after all the commercial fleet is paid a bonus price for any halibut over 40 lbs.... so if you could convince the processor's to stop paying bonus prices for larger fish, the commercial guys would target smaller fish, and everyone would live happily ever after....!!!

  14. #14
    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Halibut prices are broken into 3 groups.. 10-20 lbs, 20-40 lbs and 40-up... At Homer, the nations leading port for halibut landings the prices were. $6.75; $7.30 and $7.50

    http://www.adn.com/2011/10/01/209913...e-driving.html

    so every 40 and up the derby saves, is subject to be caught by a longliner...

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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post

    so every 40 and up the derby saves, is subject to be caught by a longliner, or a sportsfisherman not involved in the derby, or a charter boat with clients targeting beeg feesh, etc.
    Fixed it for you.


    I applaud the Homer Chamber of Commerce.

    As the the incessant vilifying of the commercial fleet, please show me where there is a size restriction akin to what a longliner adheres to amongst the sporty fleet?
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
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  16. #16

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    Welp...It has started.
    What's next???
    Prizes for the smallest Forkhorn Moose brought into Sportsman's Warehouse
    A Dink Award for the littlest king salmon caught on the Kenai
    The ELIMINATION of ADF&G Trophy Fish Awards and Standards
    Cow Caribou Antler Restrictions

    Make no mistake about it guys, this very type of drivel is aimed at one user group...The Recreational User...All others will benefit in some manner. They dress it up to look like a fine looking lady but you really do need to look beyond the makeup.
    I call BS on this one!!!
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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  17. #17
    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    You're right 'Res....Concern for the resource....There HAS to be an ulterior motive...


    ....Like, perhaps having something left for our Grandchildren.


    The nerve of such measures....

    P.S. Real Men don't NEED a tape measure [insert sarcasm smiley _____HERE_____].
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

  18. #18
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    As someone who has spent considerable time aboard a longliner, in my experience the notion of commercial fishermen targeting larger fish is not one based in reality. Yes, longliners are paid more for larger fish, but it's not enough of a difference to make targeting them worthwhile. There are areas in the gulf where a longliner can catch a halibut on almost every hook, but the average weight is in the 20 pound range. Alternatively, they could go to regions where the average weight is higher - maybe 30 pounds - but where there is only one fish per 10-20 hooks. Which one makes more sense financially? Go watch a longliner unload sometime. You'll see very few large fish being brought off the boat, as it just doesn't make sense to target them when it takes significantly more time, fuel, and bait to catch a larger average size. On the boat I fish on, if we unload 300 halibut, maybe one or two will push 100 pounds on an average trip. When I look at the fish hanging areas outside charter offices on the Spit, I'll sometimes see four or five 100 pound fish coming off a single boat.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaHippie View Post
    You're right 'Res....Concern for the resource....There HAS to be an ulterior motive...


    ....Like, perhaps having something left for our Grandchildren.


    The nerve of such measures....

    P.S. Real Men don't NEED a tape measure [insert sarcasm smiley _____HERE_____].
    LOL...Someone is going to kill and sell or eat the biggest of the big fish. Might as well reserve them for the guy with yardstick eh? No measuring tape for me...If it is big enough to fit on a cracker, it is big enough to eat!!! But I will not refuse one that needs a loaf of bread either.

    Bottomline to me is that someone/somewhere will reap the benefit of the resources we have at out disposal. To openly give way to the guy on your left...just ain't real smart.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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  20. #20
    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Guess my glass is half full 'Res.


    Want me to top off your half empty one?


    <grin>
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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