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Thread: Kenai River Early Run Kings....in the dump again

  1. #1

    Default Kenai River Early Run Kings....in the dump again

    Sad indeed. Going on 5 years of poor ER Kenai King runs. Here is the link to the latest emergency order:

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static-sf...ai-King_CR.pdf
    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...1632&year=2012

    Kings in general all over the state are depressed and have been for the past few years.....I think it's time for everyone to lay down their guns and walk away. Let the resource be until it can rebound. Hard to say if that will happen on the Kenai where socio- and political pressure rule the day. But hey, at least we have the Kenai dipnet fishery......ahhhhhduuuuugghhhhhh. My question is this....if someone were able to catch and land a king salmon on the Kenai over 55 inches, would you really want to take that fish off of the spawning grounds just because it's legal?? Oh wait, I'm sorry, there are no more Kenai king salmon over 55 inches.......my bad.

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    This one from 2010 went back...



    "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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    And you know it retained enough vigor to dig a redd and spawn? How would you know that?

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    This one from 2010 went back...




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    Marcus, he doesn't know that. But he does know that he let it survive while stroking his fish-dependent ego.

    And on and on the blabber goes. It is so obvious that every king statewide is a valuable spawner, and yet here we are in June year after year...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    And you know it retained enough vigor to dig a redd and spawn? How would you know that?
    That one didn't have to dig a redd to spawn.

    Unless someone else subsequently caught and bonked that fish, odds are 98:2 that it spawned to pass on its genetic fitness.
    "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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    Question Self-deception?

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    That one didn't have to dig a redd to spawn.

    Unless someone else subsequently caught and bonked that fish, odds are 98:2 that it spawned to pass on its genetic fitness.
    Now, Doc, what am I missing here? At a nearly eight-percent catch-and-release mortality rate, that fish had one chance in twelve of dying from being hooked, played down, and released. So say the fish was one of the eleven out of twelve that survived. What chance then remained that it retained enough vigor to spawn? And how would you know?

    My guess is you haven't a clue nor does anyone else. Y'all are simply content to believe you did your best when your best would have been to let the the fish alone in the first place.

    Self-interest can rationalize anything . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Now, Doc, what am I missing here?
    #1... bucks don't dig redds

    #2... your cited C&R mortality is for all comers. What the studies showed is that small males (under 25#) suffer disproportionately greater C&R mortality, while large bucks showed the least.... yes just under 2%. That means 98.1% of them survived.

    Hens experienced a C&R mortality of 6.8%.
    Large "bucks" only had a mortality of 1.9%
    Jacks (small males) had a mortality of 11.1%
    "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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    The default management option is the season is open and closure will be by emergency order. Can this be reversed for the next 20 years or so such that the season is closed and may be partially to completely opened by emergency order? Since returns can be expected to be low for the coming years, does a saltwater salmon fishery make any sense?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    This one from 2010 went back...



    That one looks like 53 inches......what's your point?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    That one didn't have to dig a redd to spawn.

    Unless someone else subsequently caught and bonked that fish, odds are 98:2 that it spawned to pass on its genetic fitness.
    Ummmmm, unless I'm totally way off here, the ADFG studies on catch and release said 7% mortality.....where do you get 2% mortality? Also, that 7% was derived by averaging multiple years of the CnR study....my point is it ranged from anywhere (recolecting here so bear with me....) between 5% to 20%. So unless the study was conducted for more years, it could have ranged higher....and lower....but it was only 2-3 years of the study. Further my point, CnR mortality rates could be higher depending on more years to add to the average, and also higher mortality rates based on individual years depending on environmental conditions.

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    Thumbs down Justifying self-interest . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    #1... bucks don't dig redds
    #2... your cited C&R mortality is for all comers. What the studies showed is that small males (under 25#) suffer disproportionately greater C&R mortality, while large bucks showed the least.... yes just under 2%. That means 98.1% of them survived.
    Hens experienced a C&R mortality of 6.8%.
    Large "bucks" only had a mortality of 1.9%
    Jacks (small males) had a mortality of 11.1%

    Yes, yes, Doc, you and I have been through all this many times before. In the meantime, the stock continues to decline, and yet the fishing, harassing, and c&r killing continues.

    The human mind is like the proverbial frog . . able to rationalize any set of circumstances in the pursuit of self-interest until, like the frog in hot water, it's too late.



    Carry on . . let's get 'er done . . .

  12. #12

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    Sorry Guys but this mortality discussion is missing the point on the demise of the ER. Admittidly, there is some ocean phenomina going on that we don't fully understand but we are not doing ourselves and this resource any favors by continuing to conduct business as we have been. Remember up until 2005 the min. escapement was 7,200 and we only missed that in 2002. Now it's 5,300 and I don't believe we've made that in several years. The department has not done the resource any favors by somehow applying voodoo science after the season to barely make the min. escapements. Their assessments illustrate about a 25% decline in the run but actual weir counts on the Funny R. since 2007 and Slikok Cr. show about a 75% decline. Any way you cut it the ER is in trouble. I think the department is finally realizing this and now committed to trying to stave off any further decline. I hope they will reconsider their decission to open the upper reaches back up on July 15th during the LR because studies indicate that the ER mainstem fish start spawning around July 20th. It would be a shame to open up the spawning areas above the Sterling Hwy Bridge before the 20th maybe even the 25th to be safe. We have all but wiped out our ER mainstem spawners in the middle River. More protection is needed.

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    How hard would it be not fish these kings at all until they reach escapement? Cook inlet wide.

    Seems like it is the rational next step. Kenai fever has overtaken every road accessible drainage in southcentral and many that must be flown to. Boat access is working on choking off the rest of the Susitna kings, mostly for drainages that aren't really counted and managed for escapement.

    The trolling off anchor pt / ninilchilk has been skimming them as they hold for a few decades now, and of course the setnets pick them off as they come up with the reds.

    It's not just the Kenai, it's the entire mentality.

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    Every sector of the fishery catches a certain percentage of the kings and my guess is Fish and Game has a pretty good idea by now what each sector catches. I'm referring to salt water trolling, in-river fishing, gillnetting, and I think it's time to start including dipnetting in this picture.

    I can tell you over the last 7 to 8 years the guys trolling off happy valley and stariski aren't slaying the kings by any means. The fishery has gone from catching mostly spawners with a few feeders to now catching more feeders than spawners. 2011 was good in those areas, the best I've seen in 8 years but it was mainly due to a lot of feeders being around that year. The year before 2010 was the slowest year I've seen in 8 years.

    As far as the escapement goals being lowered that should be blamed squarely on the commissioner and board of fish for allowing the goals to be lowered. 5,300 kings as a minimum early run escapement is such a poor goal, it's a joke. With a river the size of the Kenai the early run should be managed for a minimum of 10,000 kings. Remember no gillnetting during this period so hard to blame UCI commercial fishermen and this run is now in worse shape than the late run, when gillnetting actually occurs.

    I've said it before on here and I'll say it again the only thing keeping the late run in somewhat better shape than the early run is the July 31st river closure, and you could even say that not much gillnetting takes place in August anymore either. The early run has never gotten a break from in-river pressure, and the fact that the river switches to bait July 1st could mean that a good portion of these kings waiting to spawn were caught before they could spawn.

    Remember there are two mandatory closures for setnetters in cook inlet. No closures exist for the Kenai River. I think the setnetters are easy to blame, but aren't the problem in the decline of kenai kings. Setnetters catch a certain percentage of the run and are in fact one of the indices in figuring out late run escapement. If setnetters were as hard on kenai kings as some like to say, then in the 80's and early 90's when it wasn't uncommon for setnetters to fish for two weeks straight in July with nets never coming out of the water, they would have hurt the Kenai runs long ago.

    I already anticipate that by July 25th or so both the kenai river and setnetters could be shut down for fishing. It's in the management works that setnetters don't get shut down until the kenai river gets shut down, which seems fair to me. Of course the guides wanted setnetters shut down last year just because the river went to no bait.

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    Default Nothing new . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by 33outdoorsman View Post
    . . the guides wanted setnetters shut down last year just because the river went to no bait.
    The commercial in-river fishery and the fishNaddiction crowd have wanted the East side setnetters shut down period!

    The commercial in-river fishery and the fishNaddiction crowd have always wanted the entire second run of Kenai kings, regardless of run size and all else, devoted to the sportfishery. They have always wanted the East side sockeye setnets abolished because the setnets catch a percentage of second-run, Kenai kings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Papi View Post
    Ummmmm, unless I'm totally way off here, the ADFG studies on catch and release said 7% mortality.....where do you get 2% mortality? Also, that 7% was derived by averaging multiple years of the CnR study....my point is it ranged from anywhere (recolecting here so bear with me....) between 5% to 20%. So unless the study was conducted for more years, it could have ranged higher....and lower....but it was only 2-3 years of the study. Further my point, CnR mortality rates could be higher depending on more years to add to the average, and also higher mortality rates based on individual years depending on environmental conditions.
    The Bendock data was collected over three seasons.... 89, 90, and 91

    Pooled results were stratified for differential mortality based on size/sex as I posted above. (Page 28, Table 9.... Mortality and Movement Behavior of H&R Chinook Salmon in the Kenai River Recreational Fishery, 1989-1991, Bendock and Alexandersdottir, May 1992

    Survival for females was 0.932 ( mortality = 6.8%)
    Survival for small males was 0.889 ( mortality = 11.1%)
    Survival for large males was 0.981 ( mortality = 1.9%)

    The differential mortality was HIGHLY statistically significant for large males with a p-value of 0.02

    Bottom line.... small males are 5 times more likely to die of their C&R encounter as large males. It's the big bucks that are best able to tolerate the H&R encounter. The best available science says that if a conscientious angler releases a mega-buck it's got a 98% chance of survival. In case anyone forgot, if that same fish were bonked, it's chances are ZERO.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Papi View Post
    That one looks like 53 inches......what's your point?
    For the vision-impaired....

    "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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    Red face At what price fun?

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    . . In case anyone forgot, if that same fish were bonked, it's chances are ZERO.

    Who knew, Doc, who knew?

    And in case you forgot, if the river was closed and the fish not fished for at all, there's be no guesswork, no questions, no need for rationalizations, no need for fuzzy data . . the fish's survival rate would be 100 percent, and the fish's spawning ability would be unimpaired.

    How long you and me been goin' back and forth on this issue, Doc, ten years or better . . me b*tchin' about c&r, you defending it? Well, here we are . . I'm still b*tchin' and you're still fishin' . . and the fish? Well, we know where the fish are, don't we?

    But, hey, what fun . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    For the vision-impaired....

    Flatten the caudal fin and move the front of the kype up to the front of the measuring stick.....what's your point? A typical fisherperson's picture "bend it like Beckham."

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    This thread looks like some 8 year olds going back and forth, grow up.

    People need to wake up and look at the problem, King runs statewide are in the toilet. To blame the guides, sportfishermen, c&r fishermen is easy, but very short sided. The Anchor is closed, can we blame the guides? what about the copper river, yukon river, etc....the list goes on with king runs that are dismal, we gotta look at the ocean for the majority of what is going on. I am not saying necessarily commercial fishermen, there is lots of things that could be happening, natural ocean cycles, acidifcation, food base, temperature, yes....nets and the bycatch...are all part of it, so are in river users. IMO, we are looking at more than in river conditions, if most king runs were strong in the state and cook Inlet and the Kenai was just poor the by all means look at the in-river users, but the fact is that we are looking at poor returns statewide and area wide, something bigger than a few c&r fish and sportfish caught fish, but they are the easiest targets. So continue to argue about the 5-10% c&r mortality of the few fish that are c&r in the Kenai, most of which are released by locals.....then go spit in the ocean and see how much it raises..........

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