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Thread: Subsistence in Minto

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    Member lab man's Avatar
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    Default Subsistence in Minto

    I was riding my snowmachine today on the Chatnika River in the Minto flats and came upon an area were there had to be at least 200 pike heads laying out on the ice. This killing spree had apparently been the result of some guys "subsistence" fishing. From the stories I've heard this year about people seeing as many as 400 pike on the ice at one time, it seems as though the population is going to be in dire need of help. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Maybe it sounds familiar because the same exact thing happened a very short number of years ago, and the pike population was decimated. Fish & Game recently reopened "subsistence" fishing and it seems like we're having the same problem. Something I don't understand is why people who need that many fish for subsistence purposes can afford to buy a snowmachine, pay for the fuel for the snowmachine and the truck, and purchase any other supplies needed for the fishing trip itself. It seems to me that people who say they need the fish could spend less time and money if instead of fishing they just went to walmart and bought Ramen noodle soup.

    Thankfully the season in the flats was closed by emergancy order, but I'm wondering how other hunters and fisherman feel about this or things like it.

    -Eric

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    Quote Originally Posted by lab man View Post
    It seems to me that people who say they need the fish could spend less time and money if instead of fishing they just went to walmart and bought Ramen noodle soup.

    -Eric
    Could apply to Tier II hunters who make more than 50K/yr, no?
    Jim Creek - Home of the burning car hook cast!

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    um teir II permits are for hunting not fishing. If those guys were doing it legally (and I suspect they aren't) I'd guess that they are doing it under the "statewide any finfish" commercial permit. When in doubt call the troopers...
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lab man View Post
    I was riding my snowmachine today on the Chatnika River in the Minto flats and came upon an area were there had to be at least 200 pike heads laying out on the ice. This killing spree had apparently been the result of some guys "subsistence" fishing. From the stories I've heard this year about people seeing as many as 400 pike on the ice at one time, it seems as though the population is going to be in dire need of help. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Maybe it sounds familiar because the same exact thing happened a very short number of years ago, and the pike population was decimated. Fish & Game recently reopened "subsistence" fishing and it seems like we're having the same problem. Something I don't understand is why people who need that many fish for subsistence purposes can afford to buy a snowmachine, pay for the fuel for the snowmachine and the truck, and purchase any other supplies needed for the fishing trip itself. It seems to me that people who say they need the fish could spend less time and money if instead of fishing they just went to walmart and bought Ramen noodle soup.

    Thankfully the season in the flats was closed by emergancy order, but I'm wondering how other hunters and fisherman feel about this or things like it.

    -Eric
    Did you see who did the fishing? How do you know they were not subsistance fishermen from Minto, Eureka or Manley? If they were subistance fishermen, what makes you think they could drive all the ways to Fairbanks and back to buy soup? Some people still subsistance fish for a lifestyle. I have know several Native Alaskans that it (subsistance) was the only thing they have done their entire lives.

    You are making a lot of accusations but what evidence do you have beside s the fish heads? If I drove from Minto to Fairbanks I'd buy something more nutrious than Top Ramen!

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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    Member lab man's Avatar
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    Default accusations

    I didn't see the guys on this trip, or fishing this year for that matter, but I've heard from people I trust that they are non-native. But yes I do realize that since I didn't see them myself it may not be true.

    I apologize that I didn't make it clear that I was critisizing people who use the subsistence program when they have no need to do so. I do know people who in the past have caught tons of fish on the chatnika only to let much of it go to waste.

    What accusations did I make besides saying that this type of fishing could ruin the pike population? As far as I know, these fishermen did everything legal and I did not say anything in my post that would imply they were doing anything illegal, and if people read my whole post they would see this.

    Also, I wasn't saying that people HAD to buy Top Ramen, my point was that Top Ramen is a whole lot cheaper than a snowmachine and gas.

    Fish & Game could easily stop this over harvesting of pike by doing some sort of application process, but they haven't. Based on how heads up the guys on this forum seem to be, I'm suprised no one thought of this (application process) before I was berated for making "accusations."

    I was asking if guys thought this was right or wrong to get some other opinions so I could get some ideas outside of my little box.

    -Eric

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    Member lab man's Avatar
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    Default Permit

    You do have to get a permit from F&G but it is my understanding that anyone can get it. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    The season runs from Jan 1 to Dec 31 and there is no daily or annual bag limit. A few other provisions do apply.

    -Eric

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    Default Thank you Lab Man...

    for clarifying your post...

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Lab Man

    I did not mean to sound so harsh. It is just that it is so far from Minto to Fairbanks that the thought of driving there to buy soup seemed like a non-issue. I only drive to Anchorage 3-4 times a year to shop myself.

    Usually shopping in the bush to me was a Sam's mail order. If you saw food standing, swimming or flying, it was harvested because meat was so valuable. We might on a hunt shoot 50 ptargiman an evening.

    People still subsistance fish here and use it to barter for other goods, fish for others that can't, feed dogs, and what ever they can to survive.

    On the other hand, if the pike were killed for no reason it is a different story.

    Again, did not mean to sound so harsh. Laying on three inches of ice scrubbing a boat hull can do that in the evening.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
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  9. #9
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by akfangler View Post
    Originally Posted by lab man
    It seems to me that people who say they need the fish could spend less time and money if instead of fishing they just went to walmart and bought Ramen noodle soup.

    -Eric
    Could apply to Tier II hunters who make more than 50K/yr, no?
    Indeed, it could. And it does. It isn't even called subsistence.

    Flathorn Lake and Figure 8 Lake in Mat-Su endure incredible pike fishing pressure. No limit, and it isn't a "subsistence" fishery. In fact, the Cook Inlet area is considered a "non-subsistence zone".

    I hear stories all the time of folks who go there and pick up 30, 50, even 70 fish at a time. I went out and got 30 myself this winter. That's more than enough pike for me and my family.

    Then I drove past the Wasilla Walmart on my way home (I don't eat much Ramen..........)

    The only time I wonder about the fishery is when I hear from guys who go out there repeatedly all winter long and slay pike to the tune of hundreds per year. I have to wonder what happens to it all.

    And frankly, as long as it ends up in freezers and frying pans and the pike populations remain healthy, I suppose it's just fine.

    I note that the evidence consisted of pike heads. At least there is the appearance that the fish will be going to dinner tables.

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