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Thread: Kenai kings late?

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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default Kenai kings late?

    I guess that's one way to look at it.

    Me... I ain't buyin' it.

    They aren't late.

    It's simply a reflection that the earliest component of the run has been systematically wiped out over the past four decades. The only remaining healthy component of the run is the late piece.... the fish returning the last few days of July and into August. Because these fish are genetically programmed to return later, they bear negligible to ZERO in-river exploitation because the king salmon fishery ends on July 31.

    I can't stress enough a concept I have called "the window of vulnerability".... the time frame that a returning Kenai king is susceptible to the fleet. Some fish return earlier or spend most, if not all, of their in-river adulthood in the open fishing zone. (Think mainstem spawners!) Fish genetically programmed with that life history are a poor fit for the prevailing in-river conditions... they never leave the open fishing zone unless it's in a cold dark aluminum box!

    A king salmon returning to the Kenai river has only two chances for a free pass.

    1) A trib spawner that's lucky enough to make it to sanctuary water before being caught.
    2) A mainstem spawner that returns late enough that it has little to no exposure to the fleet.

    Early run trib spawners that dilly dally in the mainstem prior to committing to their chosen trib can have upto 8 weeks exposure to the fleet. An early-timed mainstem spawner also has the deck seriously stacked against it because its window of vulnerability may well be its ENTIRE adult stream-life. These fish have borne disproportionate exploitation for as long as I have been fishing the river, and we are seeing the fruits of four decades of that misguided harvest policy today. Among trib spawners, only those with the most expeditious migration thru the mainstem make it to sanctuary water in time. Among mainstem spawners, the front end has been systematically wiped out, the middle is on its way out, and the only fish sustaining the run today are the latest arrivals. Those late fish used to be the minority component of the run. But four decades of very un-natural selection pressures against the early and mid-timed fish have so decimated that portion of the run that the late fish have by default become the majority component.

    Food for thought... and if you chew long enough, it won't take much time to sink in.

    It ain't rocket science.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    I can't stress enough a concept I have called "the window of vulnerability" .... the time frame that a returning Kenai king is susceptible to the fleet. Some fish return earlier or spend most, if not all, of their in-river adulthood in the open fishing zone. (Think mainstem spawners!) Fish genetically programmed with that life history are a poor fit for the prevailing in-river conditions... they never leave the open fishing zone unless it's in a cold dark aluminum box!
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ll=1#post68701
    "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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    Thumbs down Armchair biology . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    . . susceptible to the fleet. . .

    . . exposure to the fleet.

    . . exposure to the fleet. . .

    It ain't rocket science.
    No, it isn't rocket science, it's just one more opinionated rant aimed at Cook Inlet's gill-net industry and ADF&G's management of the fishery.

    And, no, it isn't rocket science, it's fisheries biology and much more. What are your credentials for your opinion beyond a self-confessed obsession with catching big Kenai kings for a rush and a sense of conquest?

    Finally, no, it isn't rocket science . . it's just self-serving opinion, and I ain't buyin' it.

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    I buy it, if by "fleet" you mean the wall of drift boats and Willie Predators that fill the majestic Kenai.

    I get the feeling you are hoping for a new window to play with fish.

    "Let every angler who loves to catch and eat fish think what it would mean to find the fishery had gone catch and release."

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    marcus- IN this case I believe the doc was referring to the inriver fleet. I thought it was right on

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner View Post
    marcus- IN this case I believe the doc was referring to the inriver fleet. I thought it was right on
    If that's the case, gunner, I'll stand corrected. Maybe Doc can clarify?

    In either case, I don't buy his opinion of what's going on. I do believe that the in-river sport-fishery, private and commercial, has stupidly decimated the large kings, the very fish they hypocritically claim to want to save, but I think there are far larger factors at play in the overall, state-wide decline in chinook runs.

    Climate change, shifting ocean patterns, high-sea interception, and other factors are most likely responsible for any changes we see in run strength and timing. If what Doc is talking about were a Kenai River-only phenomenon, then, yes, he might have a point. Not otherwise

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    Yeah Doc, No

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    Default Please . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Bfish View Post
    Yeah Doc, No

    I'd love to hear that expounded . . please . .

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    I'm with Gunner. When I read Doc's post, I interpreted his references to "fleet" as the recreational anglers and guides who fish the mainstem from their boats. If that's the case, his concern is spot-on. My guess is that his concern is with the C&K crowd.

    However, the real disagreements arise in finding a solution. Everyone wants to save the fish, but nobody wants to have their "ox gored", unless everyone else's takes the same hit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    . . My guess is that his concern is with the C&K crowd.

    However, the real disagreements arise in finding a solution. Everyone wants to save the fish, but nobody wants to have their "ox gored", unless everyone else's takes the same hit.
    Who knew? . . but C&R also kills fish . . C&R just furnishes more opportunity to do so . .

    As for the ox:


    “And if a man opens a pit, or if a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls in it, the owner of the pit shall make it good; he shall give money to their owner, but the dead animal shall be his.

    “If one man’s ox hurts another’s, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and divide the money from it; and the dead ox they shall also divide. Or if it was known that the ox tended to thrust in time past, and its owner has not kept it confined, he shall surely pay ox for ox, and the dead animal shall be his own.

    —Torah, second book
    Maybe the real question here is who or what dug the pit into which everyone's oxen are falling, or, less likely, whose ox is goring all the others?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    No, it isn't rocket science, it's just one more opinionated rant aimed at Cook Inlet's gill-net industry and ADF&G's management of the fishery.

    And, no, it isn't rocket science, it's fisheries biology and much more. What are your credentials for your opinion beyond a self-confessed obsession with catching big Kenai kings for a rush and a sense of conquest?

    Finally, no, it isn't rocket science . . it's just self-serving opinion, and I ain't buyin' it.
    Nice response!! Your always looking for a spat and this post is a clear example. Finally, no, it isn't rocket science . . it's just self-serving opinion, and I ain't buyin' it. Talk about a very childish post this is it.

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    Is not this about 3rd grade science? Peas, Mandel, selective breeding, recessive genes.

    If early returners are harvested of otherwise killed and late returners are protected, and it happens over many generations, it could change the balance between early and late returners. Anyone see any disparaging comments about any user group here?

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    I don't know about 3rd grade science... maybe 6th grade.

    With a pinch of basic junior high algebra thrown in for good measure.

    Let's call the size of a normal run x. For round numbers, lets say historically 90 percent of the fish arrived on July 25 or earlier (0.9x), and only 10 percent of the run came in after July 25 (0.1x).

    Now after four decades of pounding on the early piece, only 1/3 as many early fish are left.... 30% of a normal run (0.3x). With so little exploitation, the late piece remains intact at 10 percent of a normal run (0.1x) continuing to return in historic numbers at its usual and appointed time.

    The depleted "new" run is now only 40 percent of the original size (0.4x).... but a quarter of it arrives after July 25 (0.1x).

    So now they want to tell you that the kings are "late" because the proportion of the run that arrives after July 25 is now two and a half times bigger than it used to be.

    So I ask again... is the Kenai king run really late?
    "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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    I believe Doc is correct here and has stated what I have thought and talked about with friends for some time now. For 0ver 35 years, or 6-7 generations of king returns we (inriver fishery) have been hammering the July portion of the late run. The August portion was basically untouched and allowed to prosper during this period. Gradually the overall run timing changed to a higher proportion of August, and even September returns. (A close friend and former guide related to me that he had caught and released an ocean bright king salmon on September 10 in the lower river a couple years ago while fishing silvers.) My own latest ocean bright king caught while fishing silvers was August 23rd, about 5 years ago. There are more and more of these incidents being reported. I remember nothing like this when a did a lot of silver fishing on the river 20-30 years ago. Just my 2c. Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post


    And, no, it isn't rocket science, it's fisheries biology and much more. What are your credentials for your opinion beyond a self-confessed obsession with catching big Kenai kings for a rush and a sense of conquest
    Right back at ya. What are your credentials? Woodworker?

    Regardless of your background and area of expertise I value and consider your opinion. I do the same for Doc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    I don't know about 3rd grade science... maybe 6th grade.

    With a pinch of basic junior high algebra thrown in for good measure.

    Let's call the size of a normal run x. For round numbers, lets say historically 90 percent of the fish arrived on July 25 or earlier (0.9x), and only 10 percent of the run came in after July 25 (0.1x).

    Now after four decades of pounding on the early piece, only 1/3 as many early fish are left.... 30% of a normal run (0.3x). With so little exploitation, the late piece remains intact at 10 percent of a normal run (0.1x) continuing to return in historic numbers at its usual and appointed time.

    The depleted "new" run is now only 40 percent of the original size (0.4x).... but a quarter of it arrives after July 25 (0.1x).

    So now they want to tell you that the kings are "late" because the proportion of the run that arrives after July 25 is now two and a half times bigger than it used to be.

    So I ask again... is the Kenai king run really late?
    I think this is just an entirely simplistic look at this year's Kenai run. No historic run timing information is presented, nor is any thought given to what occurred this year throughout Cook Inlet. While there might be some validity to different exploitation rates on fish entering the river at different times, it is a stretch to explain the poor runs to the Kenai.

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    Quote Originally Posted by commfish View Post
    I think this is just an entirely simplistic look at this year's Kenai run. No historic run timing information is presented, nor is any thought given to what occurred this year throughout Cook Inlet. While there might be some validity to different exploitation rates on fish entering the river at different times, it is a stretch to explain the poor runs to the Kenai.
    What if you looked at it as a "Dig Here" rather than a Comprehensive Universal Explanation?

    River and ocean temperatures have been suggested, this one suggests fishing pressure and implies a genetic effect, and there may be others. This one has the advantage of fitting the observations. Much work to be done, but too early to reject.

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    I think run timing will eventually shift to later in the year. The fish that normally try to spawn in June/July are getting hammered in and out of the river, and the fish that spawn in August are not. Eventually the run of those fish that spawn in Aug, undisturbed, will get stronger. I suppose I could be wrong, but it makes sense to my simple mind
    Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    I think run timing will eventually shift to later in the year. The fish that normally try to spawn in June/July are getting hammered in and out of the river, and the fish that spawn in August are not. Eventually the run of those fish that spawn in Aug, undisturbed, will get stronger.
    Isn't that kinda what the Doc said?, except he said it all like a scientist would, and you put it pretty straightforwardly above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fish4brains View Post
    John, your opinionated rants and attacks get old too. The large text and emoticons don't improve my comprehension when I read your drivel, just makes me think you are that much more desperate for attention. But alas, soon it will be another "long winter" and the next big news will be when Dairy Queen opens again.......
    FYI- Dairy Queen has been open for a couple months.
    I'm a selective forum reader; if I see the post of someone I do not care for, I either don't read it or I gloss over it. In other words: if you don't like it, don't read his "drivel".
    As for Marcus' jabs at the doc... it might be that generally the doc can't help but take jabs at commercial fishing for the chief purpose of wanting more fun with fish. I disagree with Francis and other single minded sports fishers who don't want to share the resource, but I don't mind reading their stuff because I enjoy taking the other side. They can post all they want and I will too. Feel free to avert your eyes.

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