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Thread: salmon shortage

  1. #1

    Unhappy salmon shortage

    several years ago while working in town there was a old boy from kipnuk telling me how they harvest their kings by dumping bleach into the river then removing the floating fish, hmmm could this be the reason for the shortage they ruined it for themselves and everyone else in the process

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    I sure hope not, the kings slow getting here in Juneau... very sad fishing.. a survey in the local fish wrapper said the average time for getting a king is 96hrs of fishing time, and 60 something for a halibut... we can atest to this... down right sad... BUT even a bad day fishing is good if your out on your boat for the day

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    Well I believe what was said to me as the truth, the old native boy was bragging how it's done in the bush

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Kings are struggling in darn near every river system in the entire state. While someone may have done this once or twice, I can't imagine that's the cause of hundreds of rivers struggling at the same time. Sport fishing, commercial fishing, bycatch, ocean conditions, and more all have a hand in this. As for bleach, it doesn't kill immediately, so even though they may have tried such an approach at some point, I highly doubt the effectiveness of that method.

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    not to mention it would take hundreds of gallons of bleach in a river to make up some nasty concentrations. Im sure he was just drinking and making **** up. Ive been to several bush villages all across the state and never heard anything like this. im sure he was just pulling your leg.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraig View Post
    not to mention it would take hundreds of gallons of bleach in a river to make up some nasty concentrations. Im sure he was just drinking and making **** up. Ive been to several bush villages all across the state and never heard anything like this. im sure he was just pulling your leg.
    Not to mention the cost to get that much bleach to the bush, you coulda bought all the fish!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Kings are struggling in darn near every river system in the entire state. While someone may have done this once or twice, I can't imagine that's the cause of hundreds of rivers struggling at the same time. Sport fishing, commercial fishing, bycatch, ocean conditions, and more all have a hand in this. As for bleach, it doesn't kill immediately, so even though they may have tried such an approach at some point, I highly doubt the effectiveness of that method.
    Finally found the deadly culprit to Alaska's ever growing fishery decline.

    Nope.

    Wasn't the 18,500 king salmon by-catch.

    Bleach. Lock it down boys. Case closed.

  8. #8
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    One thing that I have seen with my own eyes. The garbage dump in a village full of wasted Kings. We counted 63 over on the west side in the village dump.
    Asking a few of the locals I know, I was told the set nets were put out. The subsistence fishermen went drinking. The tide went out. The fish spoiled. The fish went to the dump.
    The manner in which the story was told indicated that it was NOT a rare occurrence.

    Another personal experience. Rebusting a trail with my track rig one spring. On a bluff above the Chuit. We could see a helicopter sitting down on a gravel bar below us. We hiked down and snuck thru the trees. All 4 men were fishing with eggs, which was not legal at that time.
    Acting like we were out of sight, but letting them see and hear us, I pretended my cell phone was a radio. I "called" in Helo One to a suspicious activity. Of course they heard that. All the lines were cut and fish thrown in the cargo hold. A fast liftoff followed. We waded over there and counted over 20 carcasses. Add to that the 7 or 8 they threw into the chopper means almost 30 fish dead that day from one group of heli fishers. It was a charter outfit from Kenai that owned the bird.
    In both cases Fish & Game were called. I do not believe they ever bothered to even go over and look at the carnage.

    I think the salmon runs are poor due to a variety of factors. Most of which should never have happened. By catch is a huge reason. 70 or 80 seals at the mouths of the rivers is huge also. How many does each one eat in a day? I have seen seals 5 miles from the salt throwing kings into the air.
    I haven't pulled a King out on the West side in a few years. I still like to watch them though. I know a few spots where the water is crystal clear and the Kings are causing waves when they bolt across the creek. There are just too few to go after anymore.
    I also used to fish the Kenai alot. I quit that river the same year the boating restrictions went into effect. No sense beating an already beat up fishery.
    Now if you are a Red, look out. I am after you and yours!
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    yeah as was said pretty sure that guy was full of it. the cost of bleach and the amount needed would be ridiculous. plus you'd have to be borderline brain dead to dump gallon upon gallon of bleach into a waterway to get fish. i can attest to wasted game from villages however. there's a little place by kotz here that i've heard refered to as "subsistience corner" where there is always whole caribou, whole fish (ungutted) just thrown out, whole seals, moose ribs, ect. nothing ever is done about it. kinda makes you wonder. not uncommon to see game rotting away in peoples yards either. the animals and fish must all have been "sick"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Kings are struggling in darn near every river system in the entire state.
    Turns out there is precedence for what we are seeing with the kings in AK, and it has nothing to do with bleach lol:

    There is a widespread belief in Western Alaska that faltering king salmon runs are due to the bycatch of salmon in offshore fisheries for pollock and other bottomfish. There is little evidence to back up that belief. It appears more likely Alaska king runs are in decline because those of the Pacific Northwest are on the rise. There is a long, historic tie between these fisheries that has been documented back as far as about 1900. When one is on the rise, the other is in decline.

    Alaska bounty ending?

    "They're dealing with record returns" in the Pacific Northwest, Regnart noted, while king salmon runs appear weak all over Alaska. This has happened before. Researchers in 1997 quoted the September 1915 issue of "Pacific Fisherman" magazine on the subject. "Never before have the Bristol Bay (Alaska) salmon packers returned to port after the season's operations so early,'' the magazine reported in the same issue that said, "The spring (chinook salmon) fishing season on the Columbia River (Washington and Oregon) closed at noon on Aug. 25, and proved to be one of the best for some years.'' Nathan Mantau from the University of Washington's Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Oceans, along with other scientists, tracked this phenomenon oscillating between Alaska and the Northwest throughout the 20th century.

  11. #11

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    I'm waiting and watching. The water offshore is still really COLD. I was out today and registered 46 degrees at the surface on a bright, sunny day. That's more like last week of May temps than last week of June, based on a lot of years of watching and catching. And sure enough as the temps have been rising from 43 earlier this month, we're catching more and more kings. It kinda has me wondering (or is that hoping?) that when the temp passes 50, whenever that happens, we'll have a real flood of kings show up. Nothing to base it on, but we really don't get into the kings until the water tops 48, peaking at 50 and falling off some as it continues to rise.

    I'm in wait and see mode.

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    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bullbuster View Post
    One thing that I have seen with my own eyes. The garbage dump in a village full of wasted Kings. We counted 63 over on the west side in the village dump.
    Asking a few of the locals I know, I was told the set nets were put out. The subsistence fishermen went drinking. The tide went out. The fish spoiled. The fish went to the dump.
    The manner in which the story was told indicated that it was NOT a rare occurrence.

    Another personal experience. Rebusting a trail with my track rig one spring. On a bluff above the Chuit. We could see a helicopter sitting down on a gravel bar below us. We hiked down and snuck thru the trees. All 4 men were fishing with eggs, which was not legal at that time.
    Acting like we were out of sight, but letting them see and hear us, I pretended my cell phone was a radio. I "called" in Helo One to a suspicious activity. Of course they heard that. All the lines were cut and fish thrown in the cargo hold. A fast liftoff followed. We waded over there and counted over 20 carcasses. Add to that the 7 or 8 they threw into the chopper means almost 30 fish dead that day from one group of heli fishers. It was a charter outfit from Kenai that owned the bird.
    In both cases Fish & Game were called. I do not believe they ever bothered to even go over and look at the carnage
    I think it's criminal that they are allowed to put setnets out at the mouths of these rivers, and your point about the seals isn't lost on me. But of course they are "endangered" so you'll have to move Heaven and Earth to change anything about that. As for the guys with eggs, that's why the Theodore and the Lewis rivers went kaput as well. F&G only come over for the beginning of duck season, and even then you almost never see them. They've done a really good job of being negligent of what's happened around Beluga, Tyonek and Shirleyville over the years.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Researchers in 1997 quoted the September 1915 issue of "Pacific Fisherman" magazine on the subject. "Never before have the Bristol Bay (Alaska) salmon packers returned to port after the season's operations so early,''

    Was talking to an old old man down in seward; he said 46 and 47 you couldn't find a king either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I'm waiting and watching. The water offshore is still really COLD. I was out today and registered 46 degrees at the surface on a bright, sunny day. That's more like last week of May temps than last week of June, based on a lot of years of watching and catching. And sure enough as the temps have been rising from 43 earlier this month, we're catching more and more kings. It kinda has me wondering (or is that hoping?) that when the temp passes 50, whenever that happens, we'll have a real flood of kings show up. Nothing to base it on, but we really don't get into the kings until the water tops 48, peaking at 50 and falling off some as it continues to rise.

    I'm in wait and see mode.
    This is what I've also been thinking. Such a huge winter produces a lot of cold water. I've always heard that the reds hold out off the mouths of rivers until the water temp is just right. Maybe the kings act a lot of the same way? I know last year on the Kasilof the kings were in thick in Aug. We were trying to catch silvers and the kings wouldn't let you. Maybe runs are getting later and later?

    Like you say...we'll wait and see.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    A few years ago I read the book Any Tonnage Any Ocean the biography of Walter Jakinsky captain of one of the state ferry boats.
    In the book he talks about growing up in Ninilchik. He said they used to run a net clear across those lower peninsula streams completly blocking it off with their gillnet. Once his family had all they needed the neighbors would take their turn.
    Once he and his brothers rigged a sail to one of their wooden dories. They used it to sail to Anchor river I believe and netted over 220 steelhead because nobody wanted the steelhead and they were easy to net.
    Also a story of getting cow moose permits and the husbands shooting cow moose for their wives permits thinking the women wouldn't use the permit themselves only to come home and find their wives had indeed filled their permits and shot cow moose closer to home.
    Poaching and illegal fishing aren't a recent problem. I think though part of the problem is that with the growth in population comes a growth in all things including legal harvest and poaching.
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    now dont 4get about the invasive pikes. i have watched salmon frys swim by and into the mouths of waiting pikes on the big susitna river. one after another.... gobbled up!!! these pikes are growing fast and finding their way up every river creek stream into lakes......areas i used to catch rainbows are no longer stocked or able to hold fish is because these darn pikes.

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    I think there is a shred of substantiation to ak47's story. I was told something similar by a native fella from Cold Bay, but instead of the fish dying and floating to the surface, the salmon would sniff the chemical and turn down stream to get caught in a gillnet. Not exclusive to king salmon, but whatever was running at the time. Maybe it was the same fella? LOL...

    Yes, its a sad scenario on the Lewis, Chuit and Theodore. When I was working at Beluga, it was all too common to witness or see the results of poaching. Esp at the Bridge over the Upper Lewis. The transient workers and out-side contractors were notorious for standing under the bridge after work and snagging the kings totaly unaware or ignorant of the rules or consequences of what they were doing or what they were even catching. Hunting season wasn't much better. A little more enforcement on the West side would help.

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    This is what I've also been thinking. Such a huge winter produces a lot of cold water. I've always heard that the reds hold out off the mouths of rivers until the water temp is just right. Maybe the kings act a lot of the same way? I know last year on the Kasilof the kings were in thick in Aug. We were trying to catch silvers and the kings wouldn't let you. Maybe runs are getting later and later?

    Like you say...we'll wait and see.
    I've seen this alot it the Great Lakes, but usually the other way around. Kings there would hold off in the lakes out infront of the rivers until the river temps dropped. They would just lay on the bottom in 90-100fow waiting, every morning we would pound them at sunrise around the piers as they were up sniffing around, then it was out to drag the bottom. usually the fish would hold up until mid Sept, one year temps never dropped, they held out until Nov when they had to choice but to run. Was still warm and the river really stunk when they started dying off in 60degree water.

  19. #19

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    Ya wanna really know what is going on?? Find a couple of the oldest commercial Salmon Troll captains still alive and ask them, ya know the kind, they commercial fished for 50 or 60 years, bet they would have a better idea than any of us or the Biologists.

    Robert

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