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Thread: Improving the Kenai Rv Chinook fishery - Brain-storming

  1. #1
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    Default Improving the Kenai Rv Chinook fishery - Brain-storming

    There's been alot written and debated recently, and over the years, regarding the quality of the Kenai River Chinook salmon fishery. This year seems to be considerably more difficult and controversial, given the apparent low returns of both the early- and late run Chinook. I suspect the discussion will continue long after the normal August 1 closure.

    So here's my suggestion: Post your thoughts, ideas, recommendations, proposals, and musings on how the BoF, ADF&G, and the people of the State of Alaska can improve the Chinook salmon fishery. This could include both ER and LR, the quality or quantity of the fish, the quality of the fishery, bag limits, size limits, location of the deadline, open/closed seasons, etc. The only rule (non-enforceable) is that you cannot criticize, pass judgement, or negatively comment on someone else's suggestion. We're just brain-storming for discussion purposes. But it's okay to include a justification for your ideas.

    So here are my initial thoughts:

    Expand Drift Boat Monday to Drift Boat Weekends in June and July. There would be fishing from DB's only on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in June and July. Fishing from motorized sleds would be allowed Tues - Thurs, in June and July. Normal river transportation via motorized boat would still be okay at any time. A quieter river is a better river.

    Mandatory release of any Chinook salmon over 45 inches. This eliminates possibility for another world record Chinook in the Kenai River; and refocuses the effort on a quality fishery, not just large (read "world record") Chinook. Les Anderson would be forever memorialized.

    Move the fishing boundary farther downstream to reduce the fishing pressure on mainstem spawners.

    Maintain the daily bag limit (1) and seasonal limit (3) when the stocks are strong enough to sustain the harvest.

    Eliminate the use of bait unless the stocks exceed the upper end of the biological escapement goal.


    Anyone else?

  2. #2
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    Lightbulb Random thoughts . . .

    Total ban on catch-and-release in the Kenai from Skilak lake to the mouth

    All rainbow trout must be released downriver from Skilak. RB fishery above Skilak remains as is, c&r.

    Total ban on bait from Skilak to the mouth

    Two king annual limit, no c&r, first two kings to boat and you're done

    Fifteen reds per license annual limit, catch & keep even if foul hooked

    Total ban on Kenai "twitch"

    Drift boats only

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    "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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    Unhappy Not solving the problem . . . yet, if ever . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    Perhaps it's time for a new statewide chinook harvest management paradigm for the duration of this purported down-cycle of the PDO.

    I liken this proposed to a dimmer switch.

    During the off-season, the dimmer switch is in the OFF position.

    When it comes time to open the season, the dimmer is turned up just enough to allow some light... wild C&R, single hook, artificial only, ALL-hatchery-fish-MUST-die with a well defined upper deadline for the in-river fishery, say, in proximity to the upper intertidal reach. The fishery remains in this highly "dimmed" state for the duration of the season until there is clear evidence that the run can support greater exploitation.

    EO-1.... turn up the dimmer a notch to liberalize the fishery to limited wild retention... a certain size, certain days of the week. The fishery remains at this moderately "dimmed" state for the remainder of the season until there is clear in-season evidence that the run can support greater exploitation.

    EO-2.... turn up the dimmer another notch to liberalize more days and greater area (deadline moves to another well defined boundary further upstream, any size. The fishery remains at this mildly "dimmed" state for the remainder of the season until there is clear in-season evidence that the run can support greater exploitation.

    EO-3... turn up the dimmer another notch to fully liberalize the fishery to allow bait, 7 days, maximum area.

    This model NEVER front loads the harvest... much better for preserving the full diversity of run-timing. It minimizes the risk of unexpected socio-economic disruptions. Every EO is a liberalization. Unless the run is totally in the toilet, there are no in-season restrictions. It greatly MINIMIZES the risk of ever fishing into the escapement goal.

    Better for the fish and curbs the seemingly insatiable human propensity to take take take.
    —That's Doc's link posted above
    **************************

    Not one suggestion posted so far—not Coho's, not mine, not Doc's—addresses the real problem with the Kenai king sportfishery. All the above suggestions do is to limit or restrict opportunity.

    The real problem with the Kenai king fishery is not lack of opportunity.

    The real problem with the Kenai king fishery is the greed, the contentiousness, the divisiveness of its participants—private and commercial sport-fishermen—for more, more, more, for 100 percent of the entire run of late run kings.

    Install whatever restrictions wind your clock, but nothing will solve the problem of the Kenai king sport-fishery until they get rid of their greed for the entire run.




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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post

    All rainbow trout must be released downriver from Skilak. RB fishery above Skilak remains as is, c&r.

    Fifteen reds per license annual limit, catch & keep even if foul hooked
    How do those two things help the chinook fishery?

    Apart from chinook, I'm pretty surprised that you'd want to see all rainbows released. Personally, I love that my kids and newphews/nieces can keep a small rainbow from time to time for their dinner plate.

    As for the sockeye annual limit, if you coupled that with allowing foul hooked fish to be retained, I'd wager that it would increase the annual take, not decrease it. Plenty of people would intentionally foul hook fish (even if you managed to ban the "twitch" and suddenly people who couldn't manage to land one in the mouth would be taking home 15 fish.

    As for drift boats only, would you allow transport by motor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    How do those two things help the chinook fishery?

    1) Apart from chinook, I'm pretty surprised that you'd want to see all rainbows released. Personally, I love that my kids and newphews/nieces can keep a small rainbow from time to time for their dinner plate.

    2) As for the sockeye annual limit, if you coupled that with allowing foul hooked fish to be retained, I'd wager that it would increase the annual take, not decrease it. Plenty of people would intentionally foul hook fish (even if you managed to ban the "twitch" and suddenly people who couldn't manage to land one in the mouth would be taking home 15 fish.

    3) As for drift boats only, would you allow transport by motor?
    1) Trying not to stick my head out too far, Brian . . keeping one or two wouldn't bother me a bit. As for the upper river, c&r, RB fishery, that gives the c&r crowd a chance to indulge their fancy.

    2) Well, it that happened the limit could be decreased. Also, maybe a mandatory 5' between hook and sinker might work . . pretty darn hard to intentionally snag with that long a leader and no twitch?

    3) Yes

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    The present scheme is to open on a date certain, then close it in stages for low runs or increase the bag limits for large runs. The alternative is to open the season only when there is sufficient evidence that the run will meet its escapement goal. fNp sort of proposed the same thing. If the set netter capture is a critical data point then it ought to open normally and collect the data. Same with the drifters. Close all salt sportfishing for kings up Inlet from Homer or some other logical point. I don't want to pick on the sports, but it has been said the commercials are valuable data.

    King stamps are a bit spendy, but available to anyone and everyone. Put kings on a limited entry permit drawing, and drastically raise the price. It is already in use for a lot of game animals in a lot of locations.

    Some insist this is a mixed fishery. This is not true of the entire early run, which ramps up before the early reds. For hook and line fishermen the terminal gear is highly targeted. It may be true for later run kings mixed with the reds for the netters, but it is hardly true for the hook and line set.

    Looks like there is already some movement to control high seas bycatch. Other effort on the ocean is hampered by the mystery of where they go and what they do. That pretty much just leaves the rivers and the close approaches. So we do what we can while we wait it out, and in 20 or 30 years we will wonder what to do with the abundance and the debate will start again.

    Go to a strict catch-and-retain policy. Eliminate any form of bait. Close the river to king/chinook fishing above tidewater, or some other point in the lower river. The single-hook issue needs to be looked at, as I am told there is evidence that single hooks can do more damage than trebles.

    Either legalize intentional snagging/twitching or aggressively enforce it with serious penalties and publicize the infractions. I am not talking about flossing reds, but rather the intentional heave which is employed up and down the river on every species in virtually every location. Ripping up fish for chuckles is disgusting. In the old days when there was lead on the treble it was employed to collect food, and we all knew it.

    Your thoughts?
    Terry

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    I blame the sockeye. The annual sockeye run is increasing annually with an extremely gigantic high return rate, annually.

    The science: more sockeye, less chinook.

    Must be invasive and fished in full forced, annually.

    Take it to the next annual fisheries management meeting.

    12/12 limits. Let's get the EO out before I head down.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tee Jay View Post
    The present scheme is to open on a date certain, then close it in stages for low runs or increase the bag limits for large runs. The alternative is to open the season only when there is sufficient evidence that the run will meet its escapement goal. fNp sort of proposed the same thing. If the set netter capture is a critical data point then it ought to open normally and collect the data. Same with the drifters. Close all salt sportfishing for kings up Inlet from Homer or some other logical point. I don't want to pick on the sports, but it has been said the commercials are valuable data.

    King stamps are a bit spendy, but available to anyone and everyone. Put kings on a limited entry permit drawing, and drastically raise the price. It is already in use for a lot of game animals in a lot of locations.

    Some insist this is a mixed fishery. This is not true of the entire early run, which ramps up before the early reds. For hook and line fishermen the terminal gear is highly targeted. It may be true for later run kings mixed with the reds for the netters, but it is hardly true for the hook and line set.

    Looks like there is already some movement to control high seas bycatch. Other effort on the ocean is hampered by the mystery of where they go and what they do. That pretty much just leaves the rivers and the close approaches. So we do what we can while we wait it out, and in 20 or 30 years we will wonder what to do with the abundance and the debate will start again.

    Go to a strict catch-and-retain policy. Eliminate any form of bait. Close the river to king/chinook fishing above tidewater, or some other point in the lower river. The single-hook issue needs to be looked at, as I am told there is evidence that single hooks can do more damage than trebles.

    Either legalize intentional snagging/twitching or aggressively enforce it with serious penalties and publicize the infractions. I am not talking about flossing reds, but rather the intentional heave which is employed up and down the river on every species in virtually every location. Ripping up fish for chuckles is disgusting. In the old days when there was lead on the treble it was employed to collect food, and we all knew it.

    Your thoughts?
    Terry

    The drawing permit concept could be applied to guides not public as a whole not yet anyway and it should apply for sure in July and August. Greed is a issue as a public guy who would like a king or Two for the table all the guides just overwhelm us.
    The kenai snagging thing is an offensive deal to me I fish reds in the upper and Russian mostly when I am around and not working. We haven't seen the good runs up there you you have in the Soldotna area last couple years. If you fish correctly you don't need to twitch or whatever you call it. But it takes time to learn. Overall I am surprised fish and game did what they are doing and I am stii surprised by it has not sunk-in yet.

  10. #10

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    How about Limited entry draw for guides for king fishing maybe more species?

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    State of Ak -- put biologists not associated with ADF&G or retired ADF&G biologists on the Board of Fish. It's time the board manage on science and not the special interests i.e. KRSA, UCIDA, KPGA. These organizations are part of the problem, not the solution. Enough of making the BOF into a political lobby every meeting. All science says 390,000 fish up the Kasilof River is a waste, yet the board doesn't have any problem raising it to that because it limits commercial fishing, mainly setnet time.
    -- Put a limit on Kenai River and Kasilof River king guides. 300 for Kenai and 100 for Kasilof sounds about right to me.
    -- Put a limit on dipnetters. 30,000 and counting is too many. Make it a drawing like for hunts, maximum of 15,000 people for the Kenai River, start an enhancement project in Mat-su/whittier area or build a road to bristol bay that will allow the other people to catch fish if they want too.
    -- Or no limited draw, and don't allow dipnetting until 300,000 reds are up the Kenai River and 100,000 up the Kasilof.

    BOF -- set regulations for the good of the resource. Not cater to one group and take away from other fishing groups.

    ADF&G -- Put 200,000 smolt back into Kasilof and Ninilchik Rivers with broodstock from these streams. These streams were enhanced too long with too many fish and it is unlikely that a truly "wild" fish still exists in these streams. It's either this or make Kasilof a weekend only fishery like the other southern Peninsula streams. It really is a small river, to handle the pressure it takes.
    --Don't change management to open up rivers to C&R. If the rivers can't support C&K then don't open them. It's fine in my opinion to go to C&R before a river closes completely, but don't open a river to C&R fishing that sets a bad precedent.
    -- Manage early run kenai kings for a minimum of 10,000. Late run should have a spawning minimum of 17,000 after sportfishing harvest is subtracted out of escapement.

    My new proposals

    Shut down the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers to king sportfishing for 4 years. If setnetters can only fish 3 days in July because anymore is deemed detrimental to king runs, then those rivers are in serious trouble beyond changing ocean cycles.

    Fish setnetters conservatively only if large numbers of sockeye are present, and if setnetters are fished, open up king sportfishing on those days as well. Cook Inlet commercial fishing has been fished on short notice for many years now, so no reason why sportfishing can't be managed the same for awhile.

    When king runs get healthy we can talk about other things, if setnetters can only fish 3 days in the name of king conservation then it's time to shut the rivers down for a minimum of 4 years unless opened on short notice, either the escapements are reached or in July if setnets are fished on that day.

  12. #12

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    [QUOTE=33outdoorsman;1146853]State of Ak -- put biologists not associated with ADF&G or retired ADF&G biologists on the Board of Fish. It's time the board manage on science and not the special interests i.e. KRSA, UCIDA, KPGA. These organizations are part of the problem, not the solution. Enough of making the BOF into a political lobby every meeting. All science says 390,000 fish up the Kasilof River is a waste, yet the board doesn't have any problem raising it to that because it limits commercial fishing, mainly setnet time.
    -- Put a limit on Kenai River and Kasilof River king guides. 300 for Kenai and 100 for Kasilof sounds about right to me.
    -- Put a limit on dipnetters. 30,000 and counting is too many. Make it a drawing like for hunts, maximum of 15,000 people for the Kenai River, start an enhancement project in Mat-su/whittier area or build a road to bristol bay that will allow the other people to catch fish if they want too.
    -- Or no limited draw, and don't allow dipnetting until 300,000 reds are up the Kenai River and 100,000 up the Kasilof.

    BOF -- set regulations for the good of the resource. Not cater to one group and take away from other fishing groups.

    ADF&G -- Put 200,000 smolt back into Kasilof and Ninilchik Rivers with broodstock from these streams. These streams were enhanced too long with too many fish and it is unlikely that a truly "wild" fish still exists in these streams. It's either this or make Kasilof a weekend only fishery like the other southern Peninsula streams. It really is a small river, to handle the pressure it takes.
    -
    I like the Kasilof option of 3 days a week but you'd need to limit guides if you did it. But I don't think it could survive without stocking does Fish and game even know how many fish spawn there? You could also make it 3 days boat fishery4 days bank fishing like it use to be when it was before all the boats started getting them before they got up to shore fishery
    I like the guide limits both places.

    I also like the PU limits it just keeps growing on us.

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